VI. On Violations of Human Rights in Other Countries
In the field of international human rights, the U.S. has long refused to approve some core human rights conventions of the United Nations and voted against some important UN human rights resolutions. More than that, the U.S. continued to go even further to violate human rights in other countries, including infringing on the privacy of citizens of other countries with the overseas monitoring project, killing large number of innocent civilians of other countries in drone strikes, and raping and killing locals by U.S. soldiers garrisoned overseas.
The Central Intelligence Agency abused torture. As of December 2014, 136 prisoners remained locked up in the Guantanamo Bay military prison (www.latimes.com, December 8, 2014). As disclosed in the Senate Intelligence Committee report released on December 9, the CIA paid a contractor 80 million U.S. dollars to come up with ways to torture people. To acquire intelligence from suspects of terrorism and extremism, the CIA used brutal methods, such as sleep deprivation, waterboarding, long-term solitary confinement, slamming prisoners' head against the wall, lashing, death threat and even the appalling "rectal rehydration" (www.intelligence.senate.gov, December 3, 2014). Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, a prisoner held by the CIA in Afghanistan, was tortured with water-boarding for 183 times (www.foxnews.com, April 1, 2014). According to CIA records, many agents implementing waterboarding felt sick, wanted to vomit, and some wanted to cry and felt suffocated (www.intelligence.senate.gov, December 3, 2014). Some detainees also underwent sexual assault. Mohamedou Ould Slahi, held in Guantanamo for 12 years without evidence and court trial, published a diary he wrote in prison. According to the diary, published by German weekly Der Spiegel, Slahi suffered from a variety of tortures, including savage beating, starvation, prohibition of prayer and sexual abuse (www.spiegel.de, January 20, 2015). The Los Angeles Times said in an editorial that the report showed American post-9/11 shame, as well as stomach-turning details of torture. On April 9, 2014, the U.S. executed Mexican citizen Ramiro Hernandez Llanas without granting him access to consular assistance, a flagrant violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. On April 11, 2014, the spokesperson for the UN high commission for human rights slammed the U.S. saying that its execution of foreign nationals while depriving them of the rights of obtaining consular assistance constituted an act of arbitrary deprivation of life, which violated the international law, including the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights approved by the U.S.
Massive overseas surveillance program violated other countries' sovereignty and civil rights. Ever since Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the PRISM data mining program of the National Security Agency (NSA) in June 2013, more surveillance programs of the U.S. authorities were revealed, and in larger scales. The NSA intercepted phone conversations of 35 world leaders, including Secretary-General of the United Nations, German chancellor and Brazilian president (www.theguardian.com, October 25, 2013). According to a Washington Post report on January 2, 2014, the NSA had a quantum computer development project, coded as "Penetrating Hard Targets," for the purpose of cracking common passwords on the Internet, and stealing encrypted information of government organs, enterprises and banks around the world (www.washingtonpost.com, January 2, 2014). In another project, code-named "Quantum," the NSA installed micro circuit boards or USB storage cards in nearly 100,000 computers around the world, through the channels of "spies, computer makes and unwitting users," obtained data from the computers via receiving radio waves emitted from these devices, and launched cyber attacks on target computers (www.washingtonpost.com, January 14, 2014 and www.huffingtonpost.com, January 14, 2014). Another program, codenamed "Dishfire," collected up to 200 million mobile phone text messages each day from around the globe, while program "Prefer" conducted automated analysis on these messages to acquire users' locations, networks and credit card transaction details (www.theguardian.com, January 6, 2014).
Frequent use of drones producing massive civilian casualties in other countries. Statistics showed that as of November 24, 2014, U.S. drones claimed the lives of 1,147 people in attacks against 41 persons, which meant the death of 28 civilians including women and children to kill every 'bad guy' the U.S. went after (www.theguardian.com, November 14, 2014). In Yemen, U.S. drone bombing and air strikes killed estimated 753 to 965 people, including at least 81 civilians, from the beginning of 2014 to mid April. (www.washingtonpost.com, September 11, 2014).
Frequent violation of human rights by U.S. troops overseas. On July 25, 2014, two American soldiers based near the northern Italian town Vicenza, Gray Lamarcus and Ides McCough, were accused of raping and beating a six month pregnant Romanian woman (www.thedailybeast.com, July 25, 2014). On October 15, 2014, the Philippine police accused American marine Joseph Scott Pemberton of murdering a transgender (www.cbsnews.com, October 15, 2014).
Take its own way on international human rights law. To date, the U.S. still denies that the right of development is a human right. In September 2014, when a draft resolution on the right of development was tabled for a vote at the 27th session of the Human Rights Council, the U.S. once again was the only nation to vote against it (www.ohchr.org, adopted resolution A/HRC/RES/27/2). Though the U.S. signed the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in 1977, it has not ratified it so far. Though the U.S. claimed it valued the rights of women and children, yet 34 years after it signed the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women, it has not ratified the treaty. It has neither ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child 19 years after signing it. Besides, the U.S. remained inactive on foreign debts and human rights to evade its responsibility. It voted against the draft resolution of "the effects of foreign debt on the enjoyment of all human rights" at meetings of the UN Human Rights Council in March and September in 2014 respectively (UN document A/HRC/RES/25/16).