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el maestro
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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Record number of 228 human rights’ violations in the U.S.: UN Human Rights Council

U.S. prisoners in Guantánamo
On March 25, the UN Human Rights Council recommended the U.S. to pay attention to as many as 228 cases of human rights’ violations. These violations, of course, are only the ones that have reached the United Nations, and therefore, have been documented; other allegations remain to be properly examined. Never before had this Council put such a record number of accusations against any country. Those accusations mainly involve cases of race discrimination and mistreating of prisoners in the illegally occupied Guantánamo Prison (which in itself counts as another violation of the rights of the Cuban people).  The United States has only agreed to review 40 of all those cases.

Inhuman treatment of prisoners in Guantánamo
Juliette de Rivero from the Geneva department of the “Human Rights Watch” organization, considered the process of identifying these violations as “very important, because it gave us the opportunity to debate the problems in the U.S.”, and she added:

We saw some positive steps taken, but also in some aspects there have been no change. So, we were disappointed that the United States did not openly invite the special reporters to visit Guantanamo, so that they can interview the detainees in Guantanamo, and several UN experts have been asking to visit Guantanamo, and haven’t been given open access. So, we were disappointed that an invitation wasn’t issued to them, and the US accepted a recommendation about eradicating torture, and that’s a positive sign. But again, you know, we are concerned that investigating torture also means accountability of high levels of those that particularly, during the Bush administration, allowed and ordered torture, especially of terrorist suspects.”

Black protesters in the U.S.
Discrimination against blacks in the U.S. has contradictorily soared after the election of the first black president in this country. The Ministry of Justice, for instance, has revealed that, in New Orleans, blacks are arrested 16 times more than whites, while in the rest of the country the proportion is 3 blacks to 1 white. It has also been denounced that several Afro-Americans were killed during their detainment, and their remains burned to erase any traces of ill-treatment by the police.

According to Ms. De Rivero, the death penalty, which still remains in effect in the U.S., is the main violation in her view. On this particular issue she said:

"We were disappointed that many of the recommendations to end the death penalty were not supported by the United States. Of course, there are problems of racism, but this is one of the areas where the US has made a commitment to improve. One of the areas we are very concerned with is the life imprisonment of persons who commit murder under the age of 18. And, you know, the fact that the US hasn’t accepted that child offenders should have a chance to be rehabilitated. And this is one of the issues that we focused on a lot. And, as we have said before, the death penalty which is still applied in the United States."

According to Amnesty International, in 2010, the U.S. was the world’s record breaker in the number of death penalties – 46. A number even larger than Iran’s, whom U.S. authorities ferociously criticize for, in their view, violating the human rights their citizens.

As a norm, Blacks are arrested more often than Whites in the U.S.

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