The human rights record of the United States was put under an international microscope, as the UN Human Rights Council issued 228 recommendations on how Washington can address violations.
America has long been the self appointed global leader on human rights, pointing out the shortcomings of others. But now the tables have turned. According to the United Nations Human Rights Council, incidents of injustice are taking place on US soil.
The point was made in Geneva, Switzerland at the Human Rights Council’s first comprehensive review of Washington’s record. The council released a Universal Periodic Review Tuesday, listing 228 recommendations on how the US can do better.
“Close Guantanamo and secret detention centers throughout the world, punish those people who torture, disappear and execute detainees arbitrarily,” said Venezuelan delegate German Mundarain Hernan.
The US has dismissed many recommendations calling them political provocations by hostile countries.
Yet even America’s allies are highlighting grave flaws. France and Ireland are demanding Obama follow through on the promise to close Guantanamo Bay. Britain, Belgium and dozens of others have called on the US to abolish the death penalty.
For many, it’s the ultimate hypocrisy. How can a state with roughly 3,000 people on death row lecture the world about humanity? Many say the prime example is Mumia abu Jamal, viewed by some as America’s very own political prisoner.
“The United States, the perpetrator of gross human right violations is using human rights as a political football against its enemies.Its enemies are not enemies because they violate human rights necessarily, but because the US wants to change the government in their country,” said Brian Becker, Director of A.N.S.W.E.R Coalition in Washington, DC.
The country often criticizing adversaries like Syria, Iran and North Korea for oppressing its citizens, is now faced with defending domestic practices like indefinite detention, poor prison conditions, and racial profiling.
America is home to the world’s largest prison population, with 2.3 million people currently behind bars.
Children can be sentenced to life in prison and more than 100 undocumented immigrants have died behind bars while awaiting deportation from the US.
Increasing discrimination against Muslims has become another blemish on America’s human rights record. Hundreds have been arrested in so-called FBI foiled terror plots involving government paid informants accused of manufacturing and setting up the crime. It is a practice other countries term entrapment.