U.S. Faults China, Others on Human Rights

Associated Press, Mar. 31, 2003
GEORGE GEDDA, Associated Press

WASHINGTON – The State Department accused the Chinese government Monday of numerous and serious human rights abuses and also took Israel and the Palestinian Authority to task for what it described as poor rights records.

It should be noted that the U.S. government consistently ignores America’s own human rights violations.

Information about U.S. human rights violations and related issues is included in Religion News Blog for the following reasons:

Apologetics Index deals with cults, sects, and related issues – including religious freedom and other human rights.

America’s goverment frequently accuses and even threathens (e.g. with economic boycotts) countries that protect their citizens against destructive and/or fraudulent cults of violating ‘human rights.’

While America chides other countries for alleged human righs violations, Washington consistently and deliberately refuses to address America’s dismal record of human rights violations. The Bible condemns the use of such differing measures.

As Christians, the publishers of Apologetic Index believe that they (and other Christians) should address human rights issues.

The publishers of Apologetics Index agree with those who consider America’s war on Iraq to be a violation of international law which, among other things, further endangers human rights around the world. As Christians, they are embarassed by the fact that those responsible for these violations claim to do so with the blessing of God.

They also believe that America’s attitude toward international law – including its fight against the International Criminal Court, its use of torture, and its inconsistent application of the Geneva Conventions – presents a serious threat to the international community.

As members of Amnesty International, the publishers of Apologetics Index are outspoken critics of America’s manifold human rights violations. They encourage their fellow Christians to address these issues, keeping in mind the Bible’s two great commandments.

In its annual report, the department said abuses in China included “instances of extrajudicial killings, torture and mistreatment of prisoners, forced confessions, arbitrary arrest and detention, lengthy incommunicado detention and denial of due process.”

At the same time, the report credited the government with some positive steps, including the release of a number of prominent dissidents and the granting of permission for senior representatives of the Dalai Lama to visit the country.

The administration normally attempts to censure China on human rights grounds at the annual meeting of the U.N. Human Rights Commission in Geneva. The meeting is now in its third week, and the administration has yet to disclose its plans there on China.

On Israel, the report said the country’s overall human rights record in the occupied territories remained poor, and worsened in several areas as it continued to commit “numerous, serious human rights abuses.”

“Security forces killed at least 990 Palestinians and two foreign nationals and injured 4,382 Palestinians and other persons during the year, including innocent bystanders,” the report said.

It said Israeli security forces targeted and killed at least 37 Palestinian terror suspects.

“Israeli forces undertook some of these targeted killings in crowded areas when civilian casualties were likely, killing 25 bystanders, including 13 children,” the report said.

It noted that the Israeli government said that it made every effort to reduce civilian casualties during these operations.

The report also criticized the Palestinian Authority’s rights record.

It said many members of Palestinian security services and the Fatah faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization participated with civilians and terrorist groups in violent attacks against Israeli settlers, other civilians and soldiers.

“The PLO and PA have not complied with most of their commitments, notably those relating to the renunciation of violence and terrorism, taking responsibility for all PLO elements and disciplining violators,” it said.

Although there was no conclusive evidence that the most senior PLO or PA leaders gave prior approval for these acts, the report said some leaders endorsed such acts in principle in speeches and interviews.

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