Burma, China Lash Out at U.S.

2005-03-04
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AbuGhraibWeb200.jpg
Iraqi detainees watch the release of prisoners leaving the Abu Ghraib jail on the outskirts of Baghdad, September 16, 2004. China released a report critical of U.S. human rights policies citing prisoner abuse in Iraq. Photo: AFP/Jewel Samad

China has accused the United States of serious human rights abuses and told Washington to clean up its own act before "wantonly trampling on the sovereignty of other countries.” Burma also rejected the U.S. report, citing progress on numerous fronts.

"Despite tons of problems in its own human rights, the United States continues to stick to its belligerent stance, wantonly trampling on the sovereignty of other countries," the Chinese report said.

"The United States should reflect on its erroneous behavior on human rights and take its own human rights problems seriously instead of indulging itself in publishing the 'human rights country report' to censure other countries unreasonably."

The Chinese report focused on US abuse of Iraqi prisoners. "In 2004 the atrocity of U.S. troops abusing Iraqi POWs exposed the dark side of human rights performance of the United States," it said, adding that the United States "frequently commits wanton slaughters during external invasions and military attacks."

Women, children said to suffer

"A survey on Iraqi civilian deaths, based on the natural death rate before the war, estimates that the U.S.-led invasion might have led to 100,000 more deaths in the country, with most victims being women and children."

In this year's Human Rights Record of the United States, China hit out at the "atrocity" of U.S. troops in Iraq and criticized the Bush administration for failing to deal with poverty, racial discrimination and crime at home.

Despite tons of problems in its own human rights, the United States continues to stick to its belligerent stance, wantonly trampling on the sovereignty of other countries.

"The rates of women and children physically or sexually victimized were high," it said.

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A human rights activist, dressed to resemble the now famous Abu Ghraib prison photo depicting an Iraqi prisioner being tortured, stands on a street corner during rush hour in front of the U.S. Department of Justice February 22, 2005 in Washington, DC. Photo: AFP/TIM SLOAN

The U.S. State Department accused China in its annual human rights report of using the global war against terrorism to crack down on peaceful opponents of its rule in Muslim Xinjiang and of committing persistent rights abuses in 2004.

The mammoth U.S. report said that although incomes and personal freedom expanded rapidly in China, "the government's human rights record remained poor, and the government continued to commit numerous and serious abuses."

Beijing also maintained tight curbs on freedom of speech and the press, controlling all broadcast and other electronic media, it said. China employed 30,000 people to control the Internet and block sensitive political sites, it said.

Burma rejects U.S. charges

Any objective observer can see the positive changes in the political, economic, and social spheres in Myanmar.

In Rangoon, Burma’s military rulers also rejected the report, saying Washington's allegations of serious and worsening abuses, including rape and torture, were "patently false."

"Any objective observer can see the positive changes in the political, economic and social spheres in Myanmar," the army-run Burmese Foreign Ministry said in a statement, using the junta’s preferred name for the country.

It also said the economy, which analysts say has at best stagnated, had grown 8.5 percent annually over the last three years despite U.S. and European sanctions.

The U.S. human rights report said Burma’s "extremely poor human rights record worsened" in 2004, as "disappearances continued and security forces raped, tortured, beat, and otherwise abused prisoners and detainees."

Original reporting in Burmese and Mandarin

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