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Like President, like citizens!
It isn’t just abroad, USA’s domestic human rights record against Afro-Americans isn’t great either...
Much like a rising trend of the American offensive internationally, the domestic crime graph is on upswing. The Uniform Crime Report of the FBI estimates all-time high figures for the Violent Crime Index for the year 2005. The same document reports a nearly 5% jump (over 2004) in the rate of homicides nationally. It’s not just one, but all crimes within this category – like rape, robbery and aggravated assault – that have registered a rise, sending alarm bells ringing within the country.
It has been reported by several human rights organisations that criminal justice in the US remains heavily loaded against blacks (or Afro-Americans, for political correctness), and religious & ethnic minorities. Though the country has almost five times white drug-users in comparison to blacks, when it comes to apprehending the guilty, the law enforcement agencies suddenly turn colour-blind. The Human Rights Watch contends statistically that black men incarcerated on drug charges in state prisons remain astonishingly 13.4 times more than white offenders. Not only that, blacks make up 62.7% of state prisons’ jailed inmates, which is about 1.7 times white occupants. Of all the crimes, blacks are incarcerated 820% more than whites. It’s not just blacks; in 10 states of the US, the rate at which Latinos get jailed varies from 5 to 9 times as compared to the white population. But then, this practice of racial profiling and grievous human rights abuse is being followed internationally by America. President Bush has endorsed on records that ‘alternative interrogation procedure’ (euphemism for intense torture and human rights violation) perpetrated against the international detainees by CIA, has his administration approval. This alternative procedure, mind you, consists of forcing prisoners to stand for 40 hours, dousing the prisoners in freezing water after making them stand for hours in a room heated up to 50 degree celsius, and many similar other procedures. It needs no expert in international law to point out that these are gross violations of universally accepted human rights.
Also the detention centres being run by the US (Gitmo et al, where prisoners apprehended in several places worldwide in its ‘war against terror’ are “detained”) have earned the notoriety of being the parallel of the dreaded Gulag of the Soviet era. The charges of detainees, nature of crime and, most importantly, their fate remain uncertain as they are not even accorded the status of a ‘prisoner of war’. Does one need to add here that this profiling and detention is a gross violation of the Vienna convention? It is cynically ironic that the oldest democracy in the world happens to be the largest offender of human rights, both within & outside its territory. Not a surprise then that US, for the past decade, has also been consistently ranked amongst the top two arms exporting countries of the world. So much for peace mongering!
By:- BE Edit Bureau
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