New York, February 2 (RHC)-- Human Rights Watch has published a scathing report criticizing the United States for violating human rights in a variety of areas. According to the report, U.S. laws and practices violate internationally recognized human rights in incarceration, racial disparities, criminal justice, police killing of African-Americans and foreign policy -- to name a few.
"The United States locks up 2.37 million people, the largest reported incarcerated population in the world," the report says, adding that "about 12 million people annually cycle through county jails." It says that thirty-one U.S. states still impose the death penalty, with seven of them carrying out executions in 2014. And 27 people had been executed by lethal injection in the U.S. in 2015, the report revealed.
On racial disparities in criminal justice, the report shows that "while whites and African Americans engage in drug offenses at comparable rates, African Americans are arrested, prosecuted, and incarcerated for drug offenses at much higher rates."
Even though African Americans account for "only 13 percent of the U.S. population, they constitute "29 percent of all drug arrests," says the report, adding: "Black men are incarcerated at six times the rate of white men."
The report also touches upon "high-profile police killings of unarmed African Americans" in the country, saying "the federal government does not maintain a full count of the number of people killed by police each year."
The U.S. is under harsh criticism over several incidents of white police killings unarmed African Americans in the last two years which have triggered large-scale protests across the country.
About poverty and criminal justice, the report reveals that "poor defendants nationwide are subjected to prolonged and unnecessary pretrial detention because they cannot afford to post bail."
The privatization of misdemeanor probation services in many U.S. states has resulted in certain abuses, "including fees structured by private probation companies in ways that penalize poor offenders or lead to the arrest of people who genuinely cannot afford to pay."
The report also criticizes the Obama administration's foreign policy, noting that, in Afghanistan for instance, a full withdraw of U.S. troops from the country "was planned for the end of 2014, (but) Obama ordered 9,800 U.S. troops to remain" there through the end of 2015 and 5,500 to remain into 2017.
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