Saturday, September 26, 2015

Universal Periodic UN Review of the human rights situation in the United States

25 September 201517:51

Comment by the Information and Press Department on the Universal Periodic Review of the human rights situation in the United States


On September 24, in Geneva, the UN Council on Human Rights approved the results of the second round of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in the United States.
Notably, although the United States has adopted many of the recommendations, it did not condition them on restrictive clauses. Washington's attempts to find excuses in response to critical remarks by the international community, including on unlawful extrajudicial executions and the use of fighter drones against civilians, do not hold water.
We demand that the United States act responsibly upon the recommendations issued during the UPR, and at last start working diligently to ensure strict compliance. In particular, the United States must close the Guantanamo Bay prison, cancel large-scale surveillance programmes conducted by US intelligence services regarding their own and foreign citizens, stop extrajudicial executions and killings, take immediate actions to prevent racial discrimination and violence, eradicate police brutality, bring the penitentiary system up to standard, stop trafficking in children under the guise of adoption, rectify the situation with observing the rights of migrants, stop kidnapping practices worldwide, impose a moratorium on the death penalty and stop the violations of international humanitarian law.
Unfortunately, we are seeing the reverse process. New shameful facts transpired in addition to existing system-wide human rights violations in the United States. For example, recently, the United States equated reporters to non-privileged parties to the conflict. In essence, this means the US military received permission from their superiors to apply any and all measures to objectionable journalists, up to physical neutralisation. We consider these actions illegal and aimed at intimidating the media. This constitutes a serious violation not only of freedom of speech, but other fundamental human rights as well.
We have no illusions about Washington's lack of willingness to cooperate with international human rights monitoring mechanisms. The level of such cooperation gravitates towards zero. The dismissive attitude of the US authorities towards the recommendations received from the states during the previous round of the Universal Periodic Review is a case in point.
Nevertheless, we are hopeful that Washington will accept criticism from the international community and at last get around to improving the human rights situation in the United States. To do this, it needs to give up its mentoring approaches, and check how its false notions of exclusivity and infallibility in matters of human rights stack up against reality.

September 25, 2015

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