Human Rights in the United States



  1. Americans Behind Bars Russia and the United States are the world leaders in incarceration, with imprisonment rates 6-10 times that of most industrialized nations. Russia's 1995 rate of incarceration is 690 per 100,000 population and the U.S. rate is 600 per 100,000. (China is 103 per 100,000 population, in 1995 the US had 1,585,401 inmates while China had 1,236,534 with a substantially larger population, almost 6 times the US rate!) [AMERICANS BEHIND BARS:]

  2. The Esequiel Hernandez killing An innocent 18 year-old high school student from the small Texas border town of Redford, who was just tending his family's goats, has been shot by Marines given the job of stopping the drug flow. [Esequiel Hernandez killing]

  3. WACO - Between February 28, 1993 and April 19th, 1993, approximately 80 men, women, and children living near Waco, Texas, were killed by the combined efforts of the US Defense Department and other government paramilitary units: the US Treasury Department's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The incident began with a military-style raid on February 28, complete with helicopter gunships firing down upon the women's and children's quarters. Then followed a long siege. On April 19, the US government sent tanks to GAS the building where the people lived. The government said they decided to gas the Davidians because they were concerned about the sanitary conditions in the house, because they were afraid one of the Davidians, David Koresh, was spanking babies. CS gas was used even though it is banned for use against foreign enemies by an international agreement in 1969. For more, see Waco Holocaust Electronic Museum

  4. Political Prisoners in the United States Although the government refuses to admit it, there are nearly 100 political prisoners and prisoners of war in U.S. prisons today. They come from the Puerto Rican, Black/New Afrikan, and Native American liberation movements. They include progressive Christians, white anti-imperialists, draft resisters, and grand jury resisters. The movements that these people represent honor, love, and respect them. Yet the government contends that they are criminals or terrorists, and reserves for them, as well as prisoners showing leadership and political direction, the harshest treatment. --From José López's Foreword to Can't Jail the Spirit, published by Editorial El Coquí. [Political Prisoners and POW's in the US] Mumia Abu-Jamal is perhaps the most famous, but there are many more Political Prisoners / POWs in the US

  5. US Support for Israel The United States supports a government which supports assassinations, kidnapping and a total lack of support for the human rights of Palestinians. See: Israel, Palestine, and Foreign Aid

  6. Ruby Ridge - "Where does it say killing the wife of a man being charged with illegal firearms is OK? Where does it say to shoot a 14-year-old boy's dog? Where does it say that boy should not react to something like that happening on his own property? Where does it say [sic] shoot the boy also. It doesn't sound to me like the federal government is able to translate the U.S. Constitution any longer. [LOCAL NEWS REPORTS (1998)]

  7. Police Brutality in the United States Jonny Gammage, an African-American man and cousin of Pittsburgh Steelers Ray Seals, was murdered at the hands of five police officers on Highway 51 on October 12, 1995. He was brutally beaten and his breath was crushed out of his body. [Jonny Gammage and the Fight Against Police Brutality] Ask African Americans in the United States whether they believe that the police respect their human rights.

  8. Human Rights violations committed by INS officers. From San Diego to Brownsville: Human rights violations on the USA-Mexico border A new report from Amnesty International spotlights human rights violations committed by INS officers. Men, women, and children of Latin American descent have almost exclusively been the victims of this abuse.

  9. Prison Labor in the United States The creation of a prison-industrial complex is one the most disturbing things going on. Note there is no contradiction between the facts that prisons are both hugely expensive and very profitable. Just like with military spending, the cost is public cost and the profits are private profits: it's yet another way of funneling public money into the pockets of the rich few. [Private Prisons and Prison Labor]

  10. Prison Brutality in the United States A hand cuffed man is bludgeoned, and a nightstick is jammed into his mouth, knocking out a good tooth. Into the bloody spittle, a state prison guard dips his finger and traces the letters "KKK." Welcome to Greene County's State Correctional Institution at Waynesburg, Southwestern Pennsylvania. [Antifa Info-Bulletin - May 14, 1998]

  11. United States violates "international law" Recently a Paraguayan citizen, Angel Breard, held on an American death row, became a test case as to whether a superpower was bound by "international law." When arrested, Mr. Breard was not informed of his right under an international treaty to see a consular official from his home country. Had this occurred, it is probable that he would've been spared a death sentence. Paraguay filed an appeal with the International Court of Justice, which called on the US Government to "take all measures at its disposal" to halt Mr. Breard's execution, until a full hearing could be had on Paraguay's application to the ICJ. Breard's lawyers filed an appeal to the US Supreme Court, one opposed by the US Justice Dept., citing the treaty violation. Under US statutory law on jurisdiction (or the authority of a court to hear a case) any federal court may entertain applications for relief "on behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a state court only on the ground that he is in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or Treaties of the United States" (Judiciary Code 82254). [MUMIA ABU-JAMAL: Where International Law Ain't Law]

    See also ...

  1. Shielded from Justice: Police Brutality and Accountability in the United States - from Human Rights Watch
    Police abuse remains one of the most serious and divisive human rights violations in the United States. The excessive use of force by police officers, including unjustified shootings, severe beatings, fatal chokings, and rough treatment, persists because overwhelming barriers to accountability make it possible for officers who commit human rights violations to escape due punishment and often to repeat their offenses.1 Police or public officials greet each new report of brutality with denials or explain that the act was an aberration, while the administrative and criminal systems that should deter these abuses by holding officers accountable instead virtually guarantee them impunity.

  2. Human Rights Atrocities of the Drug War
    An exhibit designed to bring awareness to the general public and policy makers about the human casualties and costs of the U.S. Drug War. Amnesty International could spend a little more time and attention on human rights abuses in the United States.


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