US, China slam each other over human rights record

April 15, 2016 3:39 pm

Secretary of State John Kerry presents the 2015 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, at the State Department in Washington, April 13, 2016.

The has criticized ’s human rights record in an annual report, prompting Beijing to blast Washington’s own rights record over its overseas wars and civil rights violations.
The US State Department’s annual human rights report on Wednesday criticized Beijing’s ‘severe’ crackdown against Chinese lawyers and law firms handling cases that Beijing considers politically sensitive.
The State Department report, which describes human rights practices of governments in 199 nations, said repression and coercion in China had increased against organizations and individuals involved in civil and political rights.
“The crackdown on the legal community was particularly severe, as individual lawyers and law firms that handled cases the government deemed ‘sensitive’ were targeted for harassment and detention,” the report said.
This year’s report especially criticized China’s crackdown on lawyers, saying it reflected the government’s insecurity in the face of popular aspiration for the rule of law.
On Thursday, China hit back at the US government over its human rights record in its own annual tit-for-tat report, saying money and family connections are corrupting politics and calling US airstrikes in Syria and Iraq a “gross violation of other countries’ human rights.”
The US “wantonly infringed upon” civil rights and faced “rampant gun-related crime”, said the lengthy report, issued by China’s State Council, or Cabinet, according to the official Xinhua news agency.
The Chinese report also cited gun crime and excessive use of force by police, and touched on other topics including corruption in the prison system, homelessness, racial conflict and gender pay disparity.
“Since the US government can’t be bothered to raise a mirror to look at itself, it’s up to others to complete the task,” the report said. “America is still committing gross violations of other countries’ human rights, viewing lives in other countries as worthless.”
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