Friday, May 7, 2010

Human Rights in the United States

The United States is considered among the most liberal and the freest states of the world. The U.S. constitution and treaties ratified by the senate and congress is the pedestal of human rights of the Americans and is praised by a lot of folks around the world as a model of democracy and freedom. Freedom of speech, Freedom of press, freedom of religion, the right to bear arms, freedom from cruel and unusual punishment including torture and the right to a fair trial are bases of Americans bill of rights. American governments also try to impose human rights in other countries by interfering in their affairs. But what is this American version of human rights?

The United States has refused a seat in the United Nation Human Rights Council since 2006 by claiming that it has lost its credibility with repeated attacks toward Israel's policy and failure to confront other right abusers. U.S. has violated the so known as human rights both inside and outside of its country whenever and wherever it served their interest or was against their benefit. This trend is seen in U.S. policy and has been intensified since September eleven and the war on terrorism both inside and outside of America and their excuse for such an attitude is national security.

United States government has suspended various rights on national security ground in different situations and the most important example is the current War against Terror and after 9/11 attacks. In some cases the suspension has gone too far that has led to the same terror and tyranny which Americans claim to fight with. Here are just a couple of examples to illuminate the American violation of human rights and its double standard policies:

The United Nation Human Right Council released a report in 2006 that revealed U.S. citizens and foreign national are sometimes captured and transferred to secret places and prisons; these folks are tortured, abused and humiliated. Guantanamo Bay camp and Abu Ghraib are symbols of American human right violation:

"In the almost six years since Guantanamo opened, only one person has been convicted of any crime and that was by plea agreement." said a senior counsel on counter terrorism. Of the 305 detainees held in Guantanamo, only three are subject to military commission charges. In 2004, the photos revealed from Abu Ghraib showing humiliation and abuse of the prisoners which led to a political scandal. then again while International and U.S. law prohibits torture and ill-treatment of any person in custody, U.S. governments claim that this law is not applied to what they call "unlawful combatants" and U.S. personnel acting outside the Unite States. Based on this claim the privileges of prison of war are not applicable to detainees in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. The detainees of these prisons are kept for an infinite time and generally don't receive any trials. The point is that United Nation Human Rights Council has no legal authority or power to stop the United States and as it was mentioned before U.S. has refused to seat on United Nation Human Rights council.

America is responsible for a lot of crimes and wars around the world and has engaged in other countries affairs accusing them for violation of human rights; America claims that all its actions and practices are for expansion of democracy and freedom and for respecting human dignity; America is considered by a lot of folks as a leader and model of freedom. But U.S. claim of human rights is biased and is dependent on the benefit and interest of American government.

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