Following the Obama administration’s craven presentation of America’s–largely imaginary–human rights shortcomings to the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) Monday, the member states took their turns to add to the criticism. In many cases, the countries piling on were dictatorships that murder and persecute their own citizens with absolute impunity. Iran, North Korea, Cuba, China, Lebanon, Libya and Russia were just some of the undemocratic states that bashed the U.S. at the HRC.
President Obama is one of the lead champions of the UN Human Rights Council and the Council’s so-called Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process is touted as its leading innovation for protecting human rights.
To watch the United States sit at the UN and be lectured about human rights by the world’s worst human rights abusers –Iran, North Korea, Cuba, China, Russia–and in the name of “human rights” is not only farcical, it’s twisted. One might even call it a masochistic foreign policy.
Here are the video excerpts, with full transcripts following:
Mr. President, The Islamic republic of Iran welcomes the delegation of the USA to the 22nd UPR working group andrecommends that the United States ratify the convention on the rights of the child and the convention on the rights of person with disabilities;, uphold its obligation to end all forms of racial discrimination in the country and protect the rights of African Americans against police brutality; take all legal measures to adopt and implement a national racial justice plan consistent with the Durban Declaration and programmable action; end discrimination in law and practice against all minorities and migrants particularly against women and children from poor families and take effective steps to prevent and combat violence against them; investigate torture allegations, extrajudicial executions and other violations of human rights committed in Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib [and other] camps and subsequently close them. Mr. President, we are deeply concerned that the definition of racial discrimination used in federal and in state legislation and in court practice is not in line with the convention of the ICRD [International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination]. We call upon the United States to inter alia prohibit racial discrimination.
Mr. President, we are gravely concerned at the US violations of human rights, and recommend one, to investigate the CIA total crimes which is […] indignation among people to disclose all information and to allow investigation by international community in this regard; two, to take legal and administrative measures to address the civilian killings by the US military troops during and operating based in Afghanistan and Iraq by bringing perpetrators to justice and relieving the victims; three, to put to an end to all US military presence in foreign territories which is the root cause of human rights breaches, including homicide and rape; four, to take all measures to put to an end to police breaches, including the merciless killings of colored people and all racial discrimination; and finally to unconditionally abolish its [….] desolation on human rights and related matters, including the North Korea Human Rights Act. Thank you Mr. President.
We welcome the delegation of the United States and we recommend that it prosecute and punish perpetrators of torture; suspend the intercepting, holding and use of communication, including monitoring and extra-territorial interception of information and the use of surveillance operations against citizens, institutions, representatives of other countries which violate the right to privacy, international law, and the principle of sovereignty for all states recognized in the UN charter; third, that it punish perpetrators of abuse and police brutality, which are matters of increasing alarm and are facts testifying to an upswing of racism, racial discrimination, particularly against afro-americans and latinos and women; fourth that it adopt and apply a national plan in accordance with the Durban Declaration; fifth, that it guarantee the right by all residents in the country to adequate housing, food, health and education with a view to reducing poverty which affects 48 million people in the country. Thank you very much.
The Chinese delegation welcomes the U.S. delegation to the UPR process. China would like to express its concern about some deep rooted human rights problems in the US and recommend the following: first, it should correctly address the root cause of racial discrimination and eliminate the frequently occurred excessive law enforcement of african ethnics and other minority ethnics; second, fully disclose the abuse of torture by its intelligence agency, ensure the accountability of the persons responsible, and agree to unrestricted visit by special rapporteur on torture to Guantanamo facilities; three, stop massive surveillance activities both inside and outside its territory to avoid violating the rights to privacy of its citizens and those of other countries; fourth, respect indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities’ rights and interest, fully consult with them on their land, autonomy, environment, language and other issues, correct historical injustices and offer compensation; five, ratify as soon as possible ICSER [International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights], the CRC [Convention on the Rights of the Child], the CRPD [Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities] and CEDAW [Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women].
….We wish to recommend the following: First, to strengthen the existing laws and legislations in order to combat the different forms of discrimination, racism and hatred. Two, ratify the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women; three, ratify the optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture; four, to continue to fight crimes of human trafficking…
…My delegation recommends the following. Expedite the ratification of the condition [sic] on the rights of the child. Number two, work and do all that is best in order to close down the Guantanamo facilities; number three, establish an independent commission insured by a special prosecutor to help identify and incarcerate the crimes perpetrated by individuals or groups based on racism. And finally, we wish the government of the United States all kinds of success in bringing up the level of performance of its national, legislative, and executive institutions.
We have carefully sorted the national report of the US as well as alternative reports. Unfortunately, we have to point out that the authorities of the country manifestly have not paid sufficient attention to the recommendations provided during the first cycle of the UPR. We would also note that the human rights situation in the country has seriously deteriorated recently. The government of the US must take urgent measures to improve the situation. We recommend: first, that it ensure independent and objective investigations into all cases of police arbitrary behavior, including murders, torture, arbitrary detention, the use of military equipment and the seizure of property. Second, that it provide effective legal and procedural guarantees against the collection and use by security services of personal information this includes abroad. Third, that it immediately close the Guantanamo prison and cease illegal detention of terrorism suspects at its military bases abroad. Four, that it stop extrajudicial killings of US citizens and foreigners including those being committed with the use of unmanned aircraft. Fifth, that it conduct impartial and objective investigations into all cases of the cruel treatment of adopted children and to eliminate the impunity for such crimes. Sixth that it stop the practice of racial profiling in judicial and law enforcement systems. Seventh that it withdraw all reservations to human rights treaties internationally and…provisions conscientiously.