The ‘Defender’ and Destroyer of Human Rights

The dirty past of the human rights situation in the U.S. has been brought to the attention of the international community, now that certain U.S. politicians have launched unprovoked attacks toward other countries on similar charges. It is, however, the U.S. which should really look in the mirror and reconsider where it stands.

As these American politicians point fingers at other countries, the world has seen their true colors: the destroyers of human rights. During the 45th Regular Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, members of the international community expressed deep concern about issues in the U.S. such as repeated violation of human rights and systemic racial discrimination, which were both observed during this pandemic. The U.S. was also condemned for imposing unilateral sanctions upon other countries and thus violating the rights of their citizens.

On the opening day of the Human Rights Council session, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said that appropriate measures to protect people’s rights can reduce the impact of the pandemic. She also noted that the pandemic has exposed profound inequalities, manifested by the different levels of impact on people of different races and different socioeconomic status. The U.S. should really look in the mirror and reconsider where it stands.

American politicians who claim to defend human rights went so far as to ignore the right of American people to a healthy life. They merely politicized the pandemic, named scapegoats, and spread rumors. The only thing they did not do was control the spread of the virus. There are more than 7 million confirmed cases and over 200,000 in the U.S. In an editorial, The Washington Post said, “this is state-sanctioned killing.” It is also worth noting that the virus is particularly deadly to racial minorities. According to data from The Wall Street Journal, white Americans have only a 3% chance of dying from COVID-19, whereas the rate is 11% for African Americans and 18% for Latinos. As CNN has pointed out, racial inequality in the U.S. is just as deadly as the virus.

The United States withdrew from the World Health Organization during a critical moment in the pandemic, announcing its plan to reduce contact with the WHO and to recall experts. Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet, denounced this move as an atrocity against people of the world. Some American politicians and scientists also asserted that the unilateral policy implemented by the U.S. is killing people during the pandemic.

It is just as shocking that the U.S., which practices a double standard when it comes to human rights, still creates humanitarian crises on an international scale. During the Human Rights Council session, a dialogue with special rapporteurs about the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on human rights from multiple countries revealed that the sanctions imposed by the U.S. have been preventing people in the sanctioned countries from obtaining basic material supplies and services such as food and medical care. These sanctions violate human rights and hinder economic and social development, according to the representatives. Additionally, the U.S. has also imposed sanctions on relevant officials of the International Criminal Court in a desperate attempt to prevent investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the U.S. military during the war in Afghanistan. The international community generally believes that U.S. actions regarding the ICC disregards the victims of the worst crimes in the world and seriously violates international law. The Washington Post commented that the “America First” policy is driving the U.S away from international norms and will ultimately make the U.S. more vulnerable and isolated.

Hypocrisy, double standards, bullying. These attacks on other countries by American politicians regarding their human rights situation have only raised the consciousness of the international community about human rights issues in the U.S. We can clearly see who the devil is here.

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