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08 february

Human Rights situation in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


The Report of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

Introduction

2020 is the year of the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory over Nazism. The Second World War caused unspeakable sufferings to mankind. An attempt to put in practice one of the ideological pillars of the National Socialism, that is the theory of racial superiority, resulted in tens of millions of victims.

1945 is the starting point in the creation of the international system for promotion and protection of human rights. The victory in the Second World War created conditions for the establishment of the United Nations and for the elaboration of such fundamental document as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 10, 1948. Later on, it was complemented with multilateral treaties, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as other international instruments on various aspects of human rights. All these major treaties provide a basis for the development of multilateral international cooperation in the area of human rights, as well as a legal framework to counter negative developments in the area.

There has developed over the years a whole system of international global and regional mechanisms designed to monitor and protect human rights. At the global level, such mechanisms include UN treaty bodies monitoring the implementation by the States Parties of their obligations under the relevant human rights instruments. Major human rights events had been regularly held by the OSCE – in Helsinki, Copenhagen, Vienna and elsewhere. A number of mechanisms based on the 1950 European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and other international instruments are also active in the framework of the Council of Europe.

Human rights are a major universal (in terms of applicability) institution of both contemporary international and national constitutional law. In national legal systems, human rights constitute an important element of the national body of law.

Legal obligations, per se, do not provide an unconditional guarantee of the observation of law as that requires relevant implementation mechanisms to be in place. In addition, political will and other factors can be as instrumental in ensuring respect for human rights as their legal recognition.

Despite multiple discussions at various levels on the principle of universality of human rights and seemingly general understanding of the essence of the matter, the issue of human rights is still used by some countries as a prefect for interference in internal affairs of independent states in violation of their sovereignty. Moreover, as a result of manipulations with regard to that basic principle and human rights as a whole there has developed a double standard approach to assessing various situations and phenomena.

In addition, historical truth has been often sacrificed for the sake of political expediency. Unfortunately, attempts to revise history, especially with regard to the period of the World War II are not a new phenomenon. And one should note that the word "revise" is quite a euphemism. Putting it bluntly, we face a systemic policy of falsification and distortion of history, including with a view to revising the outcomes of the World War II and understating or even distorting the role of the USSR in defeating Nazism and fascism. An idea is promoted that the Nazi regime recognized as criminal by the Nuremberg Tribunal was, in fact, quite a match to the regime of the state which was one of the leading member of the anti-Hitler coalition and a founder of the UN. Events of the past have become subject to selective citing with unsavoury episodes of the history of Europe, such as the Anschluss of Austria, the Munich Conspiracy and German invasion of Poland, that preceded the World War II being completely hushed up.

Of special concern is the campaign aimed at rewriting the history of the Second World War which is underway in the space of the European Union and in the United States, Canada and Ukraine, as are cynical attempts to whitewash war criminals and their accomplices – those who created and used to implement the theory of racial superiority, or to present Nazi collaborators as participants in national liberation movements, as well as blasphemous efforts by political elites of a number of Western and East European countries to erase historical memory. Such irresponsible actions incompatible with international obligations have led to the emergence in Europe and the United States of a generation that does not know the truth about the most horrible war in the history of mankind, including the truth about the mission and numerous war crimes of the Waffen SS recognized as a criminal organization by the Nuremberg Tribunal. We are also concerned about a growing number of xenophobic and racist incidents, and manifestations of violent nationalism, chauvinism and other forms of racial and religious intolerance in the countries mentioned above, as well as in some other countries where the allegedly absolute character of the freedom of opinion is invoked to justify the lack of response to such incidents and manifestations.

That complex issue problem is a subject of a separate report by the Russian Foreign Ministry devoted to the situation with regard to the glorification of Nazism and the spread of neo-Nazism and other practices contributing to the escalation of modern forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. Information on their manifestations in various countries provided in this report is supposed to complement that report in terms of analysis of modern forms of Nazism.

The war waged against historical truth creates, directly or indirectly, new threats for the modern society. Of serious concern is a new trend followed by racist and xenophobic ideologies, the one to incorporate populist ideas to recruit new followers. Of even greater concern is the increasing involvement of young people in radical movements. A significant factor contributing to these trends is the connivance of the authorities which often turn a blind eye to extremists and even pander to them to divert public attention fr om pressing issues.

This is especially graphic in the European continent. It is with great concern that we watch Nazi and ultraright organizations getting increasingly rampant in a number of European countries, as well as on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. It is a well-known phenomenon: various radical forces and movements propagating aggressive and nationalistic ideas become increasingly popular in periods of economic and social distress. Calls can often be heard in such periods to deal with those "responsible" for the misfortunes. All that leads to an increasingly hostile attitude to migrants and refugees, and to the aggravation of interethnic, interreligious and intercultural conflicts. Political hatred and right‑wing extremism directed against Muslims and refugees have become a fact of life in all European countries. We also witness the increased use of Internet to incite hatred, and that trend correlates with the incidence of actual racist crimes and abuses.

One should also mention that Europe which is a part of the Christian civilization has become lately a stage of increasingly frequent attacks against traditional values organized by those who propagate ultraliberal ideas, who try to impose on others their perceptions of justice, responsibility, sense of duty, cooperation, etc. and who attempt to replace such values with the notions of permissiveness and moral relativism. In fact, one can talk about the discrimination of the Christian majority versus supporters of ultraliberal values.

The above trends have seriously aggravated the human rights situation of national minorities and ethnic groups, including, first of all, with regard to their linguistic and educational rights. Of special concern in that context is the situation of the Russian-speaking population in the Baltic countries and Ukraine. Measures adopted by their authorities can only be described as discriminatory.

Studies conducted by specialized national bodies, academic circles and non-governmental organizations reveal a range of problems faced by a number of Western countries. One of them is a high incidence of racist attitudes and prejudices. Also widely spread are such phenomena as Afrophobia, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. In March 2018, the Institute of Economic and Social Studies and the Irish Commission for Human Rights and Equality have carried out a study on the public attitude towards ethnic diversity and race. As a result, on the basis of data compiled in the framework of the European social study, it was found that 14 per cent of the population of ten of EC Member States believe that people belonging to some ethnic groups "are born less intelligent" and that about 45 per cent of the respondents are of the view that "some cultures are superior to others" while 40 per cent of them believe that people belonging to some races "are born more industrious".

There remains a significant employment gap between various groups of population and a high level of discrimination in the fields of employment and education. In most cases, the discrimination is even more pronounced where there is a combination of factors, such as sex, age, color, religion and social background. A related and frequent problem is the reluctance of victims of discrimination to report it to the relevant authorities for the lack of confidence in the latter or for fear that their situation might get even worse.

In European countries, as well as in the United States and Canada there has been a trend towards racial and ethnic profiling by law-enforcement officers, and the latter do not even deny that as revealed by the studies conducted by human rights organizations. Moreover, the law-enforcement bodies have no means to prevent that practice. There does not exist a clear-cut and consistent policy supported with relevant guidelines with regard to identity checks. Also, there is often no training offered on the subject.

Another frequently manifest problem is a hostile attitude towards Roma people. Media often reports about the demolition of Roma dwellings and their evictions, as well as about their discrimination in the area of education, healthcare and employment.

The situation with migrants has also been in the focus of attention of human rights organizations as problems in that area exist in many European countries and in the United States. Complaints relate to the practice of expulsion of illegal immigrants and to their blocking at borders to prevent them fr om applying for asylum. Grievances are expressed with regard to the separation of family members, lengthy periods of consideration of asylum applications and inadequate living conditions in migration centers which are often overcrowded and lack basic infrastructure.

A separate and important block of problems relates to the abuse of power by law-enforcement bodies which often results in the death of suspects. There are frequent reports about the excessive use of force and the use of riot control weapons against peaceful protestors and, indeed, media people who also often get into trouble when covering protests.

Deficiencies can also be found in the functioning of the judicial system in a number of countries. Political expediency sometimes prevails in their work over legal norms.

Human rights activists often criticize the widespread practice of surveillance of mass media and civil society leaders conducted by law‑enforcement agencies and security services. To that end, the latter illegally monitor personal contacts of people and keep an eye on them using advanced technologies, such as a face recognition system. In fact, they intrude upon the privacy of people. There are frequent reports about pressure brought to bear on civil society and human rights activists who oppose mainstream views.

Trends of that kind pose, in our opinion, a direct threat to the basic values of democracy and human rights, and present a major challenge to international and regional stability as a whole. We are convinced that one of the most effective means to deal with that is an equal international cooperation among states in strict conformity with international law and such principles as respect for sovereignty, non-interference and non‑use of human rights as an instrument of political pressure. All relevant parties should follow that approach while abandoning double standards and narrow political considerations.

This report is a continuation of efforts by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation to draw international public attention to the increased incidence of human rights violations observed in a number of countries. The study covers the human rights situation in individual countries, including those that list themselves among advanced democracies claiming to set standards in the area of protection of human rights, as well as those that associate themselves with the latter. Such countries often try to "export" democratic and human rights standards invoking their universal character and actively criticize the human rights situation in dissenting countries pursuing independent foreign policy agendas and asserting their own historical, cultural and religious values and norms.

Based on data fr om international and national sources, and reports by human rights organizations, the report summarizes factual information on human rights violations in the above-mentioned category of countries and attempts to single out developments of systemic nature. It takes into account recommendations of international global and regional human rights mechanisms, including treaty bodies and regional (particularly European) human rights institutions, in respect of those countries. In that context, we would like to make a special reference to very substantive studies on the human rights situation in the United States prepared by the Chinese Human Rights Research Society.

We hope that the threat to democratic and human rights values will be recognized not only by civil society organizations and experts but also states mentioned in the report, including their legislative and executive bodies. At the same time, a formal recognition will not be enough. What is needed are concrete resolute measures, including an unbiased effective monitoring of human rights, as well as consistent follow-up steps and steps to ensure effective functioning of the existing mechanisms and to prevent their politicization in the interests of certain factions.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Despite Washington's ambition to play the role of an uncontested leader in the protection and safeguarding of human rights and freedoms, the human rights situation in the United States leaves much to be desired. In some aspects, there is an observable decline as compared to 2018. The systemic issues of the American society get only worse. These include, but not limited to: racism, discrimination against immigrants, unabated xenophobia, rise of extremism, prejudgement in the justice system, maltreatment of prison inmates, mass surveillance, control and suppression of media, as well as deficient electoral system.

Under the guise of fighting against terrorism, the United States disproportionately and indiscriminately use military force in the territory of other countries in contempt of international humanitarian law. The use of UAVs during the so-called counter-terrorist operations results in civilian casualties.

The fact that the notorious detention facility in the United States military base in Guantanamo Bay still operates is a clear indication of the American policy of double standards in the human rights domain. Unwarranted detentions, extrajudicial executions, torture and other forms of degrading treatment – all these evident violations of international human rights norms and principles are thoroughly concealed.

Although the number of death sentences imposed and executed in the United States over the recent years has gradually declined, this figure still remains high. Capital punishment is still in use in 29 states, as well as on the federal level.

A total of 1,499 convicts have been subject to the death penalty since 1976, of them approximately 55.7 per cent whites, 34.2 per cent African Americans and 10.1 per cent other races. As of July 1, 2018, the number of inmates sentenced to death was 2,738.

According to data from the Death Penalty Information Center (as of April 8, 2019), since the beginning of 2019, seven people were executed, three of them in Texas, two in Alabama, one in Georgia and one in Florida. In 2018, 25 people from eight states were executed.[503]

International human rights institutions and mechanisms indicate a huge number of individuals sentenced to death by error. There are also observations that in certain states some undisclosed and unapproved chemical agents are used in executions.[504]

The American society is becoming increasingly supportive of the abolition of death penalty nowadays. In 2018 the Washington Supreme Court ruled the death penalty unconstitutional. Based on this decision, eight previously imposed death warrants were changed to life imprisonment without parole.

On March 13, 2019 the governor of California, Mr. Gavin Newsom, signed an executive order to impose a moratorium on the death penalty.[505] As a result, 737 inmates have had their death sentence suspended. It is worth noting that the death penalty has not been practiced in California since 2006 due to lengthy legal actions concerning the legality of drugs used in lethal injections. The point at stake is rather a suspension of executions than a full and decisive abolition of the death penalty in California. Mr. Newsom also ordered to dismantle and close the execution chambers in San Quentin State Prison.

In March 2014, after reviewing the fourth periodic report of the United States of America on the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights the Human Rights Committee expressed concerns over the continued practice of death penalty in the country. Specially mentioned was the racial bias in sentencing, as this measure disproportionally affected African Americans and was aggravated by the mandative proof of the fact of discrimination in each separate case.[506]

The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) annual report on the death penalty in the OSCE area emphasizes that this measure applies to women and persons with mental illnesses in the United States. It also indicated racial prejudice at the imposition stage, as well as the use of substances inflicting sufferings equivalent to torture.

As observed by Human Rights Watch, the continued practice of death penalty in the United States is rife with prejudice, racial discrimination and faulty justice. Since 1976, 164 death warrants have been cancelled as a result of flagrant errors in the dossier and lack of adequate evidence. For example, in February 2019 two inmates in California were released having spent over 30 years in death row, as grave errors had been discovered in the judicial procedure.[507]

A public outcry was caused by the case of Domineque Ray, an American national sentenced to death in Alabama.[508] His request to have an imam with him during the execution was declined. According to Alabama rules, a death row inmate can only be accompanied by the prison chaplain, while the access is denied to any individuals who are not a prison employee. Ray's execution was postponed until this dispute could be settled in court.[509]

On February 7, 2019, the US Supreme Court ruled to deny the reprieve. On that same day, Domineque Ray was executed without an imam present. Human right activists accused the Supreme Court of violating the First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of religion. The Supreme Court did not comment, however, on the issue of religious rights violation. The decision was based on the fact that Ray had submitted his request to the prison administration on too short a notice prior to the set execution date.

Over 40 inmates are still held in the notorious Guantanamo Bay detention facility, most of whom have been kept there by the American authorities for 17 years without any charges or fair trial.

The Human Rights Committee noted in 2014 that the cases of inmates held in Guantanamo Bay and US military facilities in Afghanistan were not tried as part of usual criminal proceedings, sometimes for 10 years.[510] Similar concerns were expressed by the Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination in August 2014 following the review of the combined seventh to ninth periodic reports of the United States of America on their implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, with a special focus on the inmates having no access to the general justice system and allegedly being subjected to torture or cruel, degrading treatment.[511]

According to a Seton Hall University Law School research, only 8 per cent of all Guantanamo Bay inmates had connections to Al Qaeda, with more than half of all prisoners not having participated in actions of illegal armed groups, including those affiliated with the Islamic State (IS).[512]

In January 2019, Republican senators Tom Cotton, John Cornyn, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio requested the US President Donald Trump to transfer the IS militants captured in Syria to Guantanamo Bay. The open letter stated that over 700 IS militants had been detained by then by the Syrian Democratic Forces. The senators called for the terrorists to "face justice", highlighting the inadmissibility of their release under any circumstance.[513]

According to Human Rights Watch, some American law enforcers believe that investigations into the cases of terrorist militants held in Guantanamo Bay would be more efficient if led by US Federal Courts and not by military commissions.[514] Human right activists point out that the Presidential executive order dubbed "Protecting America Through Lawful Detention of Terrorists" creates prerequisites for replenishing prisons with new inmates when it becomes a "measure necessary to protect the State".

Even experts loyal to D.C. warn that sending new inmates to Guantanamo is counterproductive and may adversely affect the US efforts to combat terrorism. For example, Human Rights Watch points out that Islamist armed groups like the IS and Al Qaeda use the situation around Guantanamo Bay in their propaganda to recruit new members all around the world.

In January 2019, human rights organizations held peaceful rallies on the occasion of the 17th anniversary of the Guantanamo Bay facility and called for action to close it as soon as possible.[515]

In January 2018, ODIHR Director Ms. Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir highlighted this issue, stating that "the ongoing operation of the detention facility raises profound human rights concerns and continues to undermine the effectiveness and credibility of necessary counter-terrorism efforts". According to Ms. Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir, the operation of Guantanamo Bay prison "casts doubts on the resolve of the United States authorities to comply with its human rights obligations and commitments when countering terrorism".[516]

The dire situation in US mainland American prisons remains a daunting problem. According to data from the United States Department of Justice as of 2017, the number of inmates held in federal penitentiary institutions and state prisons had decreased by 8 per cent since 2009 standing at 1.5 million. The rate variation was partly due to a decrease in number of inmates in Alaska, Vermont, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York.[517] Meanwhile there are approximately 750,000 inmates in local (district and municipality) prisons.

Despite some positive changes, the United States remain the country with the world's largest "prison population". Human right activists insist that the progress in the fight against "mass incarceration" and overpopulation of American prisons, invoked by the United States Department of Justice and the Bureau of Justice Statistics, is negligible. According to Sentencing Project, it would take 75 years to reduce the number of US inmates by half.[518] According to Equal Justice Initiative, approximately 113 million adult Americans have close relatives who at some point have been imprisoned.

The HRCtte and CERD reviews of the United States reports of March and August 2014 highlighted the persisting racial differences on different stages of the criminal justice system, imposition of unequal sentences and a high representation of ethnic minorities in prison.[519] The Human Rights Watch World Report on the human rights situation in 2018 also indicates that African Americans are five times more likely to be imprisoned than the whites in the USA. As to drug crimes, despite about the same level of drug use, there are several times more African Americans serving time in custody than whites. Racial disproportionalities also feature among minors in prison. In African American minors by far outnumber other racial groups in the penitentiary facilities of 37 states.[520]

According to Sentencing Project, presently more than 200,000 inmates in the United States are imprisoned for life or for lengthy terms. Lengthy terms, however, are not causing crime levels to drop.

Human right activists consider the First Step Act signed by Donald Trump in December 2018 insufficient to settle the prison overpopulation issue. Besides, this legal instrument is unable to address the eventual adaptation and socialization of former inmates and does not prevent second offences.

The official data indicates that the load on the US penitentiary system has exceeded its capacity by a third. This leads to a spike in collateral issues, including violence towards inmates on the part of prison employees.

On February 7, 2019, Adrian Almodovar, a former correctional officer at the Elayn Hunt Correctional Center, Louisiana, was found guilty of afflicting bodily harm to two handcuffed inmates. The United States Department of Justice also condemned Almodovar's actions, stating that he "tarnished the reputation of penitentiary system employees".[521]

On March 13, 2019, Cristopher Loring, a Richwood Correctional Center employee, was found guilty of assaulting five inmates.[522]

On April 2, 2019, Ulysses Oliver, a former Alabama Department of Corrections sergeant, pleaded guilty to assaulting two handcuffed Elmore Correctional Facility inmates.

In June 2019, the jury found Sharalyn McClain, a Mississippi Corrections officer, guilty of assaulting a Central Mississippi Correctional Facility inmate.

In June, 2019, Roderick Douglas, a Louisiana Richwood Correctional Center employee, was found guilty of conspiring with five other correctional officers so as to assault the inmates.

Human rights organizations are concerned about an unprecedented spike in violence in Alabama penitentiary facilities. According to Equal Justice Initiative, the murder rate in state prisons exceeds the federal level by 10 times. In April 2019, the United States Department of Justice published a report on the investigation into violations of inmates' rights in Alabama prisons. The investigation revealed multiple violations of the Eighth Amendment (ban on cruel and unusual punishments), obliging the penitentiary system employees to guarantee humane conditions of confinement and take reasonable measures to ensure the security of inmates. It is stated that the out-and-out overpopulation of prisons and lack of personnel aggravate the situation. Alabama's penitentiary facilities can house 9,000-10,000 inmates, but currently there are 16,000 prisoners locked in there. Cases of violence among inmates (including sexual violence), murders and drug dealing are everyday practice.

The question of solitary confinement is acute in American prisons. Living in a confined space for 22 hours a day, banned from open space walk and socially isolated for a long time – all these factors worsen the mental state of a penitentiary facility inmate. According to Southern Poverty Law Center, around 4.5 per cent of prison population in the United States is subjected to "administrative segregation" (prisoners are kept in complete isolation up to 22 hours a day). The percentage of suicides is drastically higher among inmates in total isolation. Human right activists are particularly concerned with the situation in Florida prisons. From January 2013 to August 2018, of 80 inmates who committed suicide, 46 were in solitary confinement.

Human rights organizations focus on the situation of children sent to prison. According to Equal Justice Initiative, every eighth American's child has at some point been to a penitentiary institution.[523]

In March 2019, Dennis Fuller, Peggy Kendrick and Jason Benton, overseers in White River Regional Juvenile Detention Center were found guilty of assaulting minor inmates. Children held in this facility faced maltreatment regularly: corporal punishment, pepper spray use followed by enclosure in a cell without access to medical aid.[524]

Until recently, the United States had admitted keeping minor and adult inmates together. This practice was discontinued after Donald Trump signed the Juvenile Justice Reform Act on December 21, 2018, significantly amending the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974. According to the new law, states shall also be obliged to make up reports on any restrictive measures with respect to minors, including the "administrative segregation". Moreover, limits were introduced on handcuffs use in respect of pregnant women kept in "juvenile" prisons.

As estimated by The American Civil Liberties Union, the provisions of the Act concern approximately 50,000 children currently in correctional facilities. It is perceived by the human rights community as an important step in protecting the rights of minors in penitentiary facilities.[525]

The issue of domestic violence, especially towards children, remains acute. The HRCtte and CERD expressed their concern, pointing out that ethnic minorities, migrants, Native Americans and women belonging to indigenous peoples of Alaska are particularly challenged in this regard.[526]

According to the 2019 United States Department of Health and Human Services report, 674,000 children were subjected to maltreatment in 2017, of which more than 1,700 died (more than 80 per cent of them died by their parents' hand). Especially vulnerable are babies. More than 28 per cent of domestic violence victims did not reach the age of 3. Moreover, the highest incident rate (25 per 1,000 children) is among children under 12 months of age.[527]

According to ChildUSA, every fourth girl and every sixth boy are subjected to sexual violence. In 25 per cent of cases the information on such crimes does not reach law enforcers. Victims often hide their story until adulthood.[528]

Child pornography is also common in the USA. According to official data, the number of minors depicted in pornographic images has doubled since March 2015 (up to 16,000 persons).[529]

Human rights organizations note negative trends in the US law enforcement system. Law enforcement officers often resort to brute force regardless the real necessity to prevent threat to their lives coming from offenders. Police officers use firearms even when alternative methods, like less dangerous means of restraint, oral warnings or an order to surrender, are available. The media regularly accuse the police of racism and excessive use of force. According to the Washington Post, in 2018, 992 people were killed or wounded, and as of November 2019, this number already exceeded 770 people.[530]

In most cases, it is African Americans and other ethnic minorities who are victims of violence on the part of law enforcement officers. This problem has been underscored by the UN human rights treaty bodies and international experts on human rights. In March 2014, CERD expressed concerns over racial profiling practices and surveillance of Muslims and other ethnic minorities by law enforcement officers in the absence of any suspicion of offence. The United States was recommended to conduct an impartial investigation of all such cases.[531]

The UN HRC Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent states, also with a reference to the Washington Post, that African Americans accounted 26 per cent of persons killed by the police in 2015, 24 per cent – in 2016 and 23 per cent – in 2017, while this community represents only 13 per cent of the US population. African Americans accounted for 20 per cent of all those killed by the police in the first half of 2018.[532]

Ms. E. Tendayi Achiume, the UN HRC Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, in her report concerning reparations for the racial discrimination rooted in slavery and colonialism prepared for the 74th UN General Assembly session indicated that the aftershocks of colonialism are still felt in the United States. The probability of an adult African American being arrested is 5.9 times higher than that of a white adult.[533]

In February 2019, Christopher M. Roeder was found guilty of using unjustified excessive force towards a detainee. The investigation that started in April 2017 found out that Roeder attempted to obstruct the investigation into his assault of the detainee, including by a fake police report describing the incident.[534]

March 2019 saw the investigation into the case of California police officers Terrence Mercadal and Jared Robinet, who on March 18, 2018 shot an unarmed African American Stephon Clark, closed. The preliminary investigation proved that "Mercadal and Robinet opened fire on Clark approaching them with an object in his hand", which the officers mistook for a handgun. However, already after the shooting it turned out that Clark was holding his cell phone, not a gun. The prosecution did not consider their actions unlawful. This incident caused public protests.

The American Civil Liberties Union blasted a January 2019 court ruling, according to which a Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was sentenced to a relatively short prison term of six years and nine months for killing a young African American man. Moreover, police officers Joseph Walsh and Thomas Gaffney previously accused of obstructing justice and false affidavit to exculpate their partner Van Dyke were acquitted on all charges.

According to the We Charge Genocide 2014 report, black Chicago residents run into police maltreatment 10 times oftener than the whites. Only 2 per cent of 1,509 claims against law enforcers on the excessive use of force resulted in some punishment imposed on the offender.

In September 2019, Human Rights Watch published a research on the situation in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with a focus on maltreatment by law enforcement officers.[535] Human right activists found that police officers use physical violence against ethnic minorities (Tasers, pepper sprays, police dogs and beatings) 2.7 times more often than against Americans of European descent.

A most heinous case of abuse of authority occurred in Los Angeles on June 6, 2019, when a 24-year-old Ryan Twyman was shot dead by the police. Law enforcers fired more than 30 bullets at his car when, according to human right activists, there was no threat to their lives. Los Angeles has a reputation of one of the most dangerous US cities for African Americans (on average, city's police officers kill someone every five days, although four individuals were killed on that same day).[536]

Human rights organizations point out that California laws do not duly protect the population from the unjustified use of force by the police. According to California Department of Justice, in 2017 police officers killed 172 people (with the whites accounting only for a third of this figure). Other than racial disproportionalities when it comes to the use of force by the police, California has the highest number of people killed by the police (it exceeds the federal average by 37 per cent).

American courts often impose exceedingly harsh sentences to participants in clashes with the police. In Texas, in late September 2019, a 59‑year‑old Donnie Mills was sentenced to 99 years of custody (with 24 years without parole) for kicking a police officer.

Human right activists also indicate that US law enforcers very harshly respond to mass protests against the government policy. For example, in early October 2019, after peaceful demonstrations of environmental activists (around 1,000 participants) who demanded more attention to climate issues, over 100 people were arrested on the formalist ground of "blocking the road".

United States intelligence services continue to actively use electronic surveillance of people to obtain intelligence (classified as "information necessary to protect the United States and her allies against actual or potential grave attack, sabotage or international terrorism") according to the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

In March 2014 the HRCtte expressed concerns over the surveillance of telecommunication contact by the National Security Agency (NSA) for the purpose of national security inside and outside the United States, as well as over the harmful effects of such activity on the enjoyment of the right to privacy.[537]

According to the 2017 statistical report on national security agencies operation, more than 129,000 foreign nationals were electronically surveyed based on FISA clause 702.

In 2017 the US government published a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) opinion that the competent services systematically infringe on the procedures of worldwide surveillance established by the 1978 law (inappropriate disclosure of FBI information to a third party, failure to timely notify the Court whose approval is required to be obtained no later than 72 hours after the surveillance starts, and other cases of contempt of legal requirements).

According to the opinion of The American Civil Liberties Union, such "chronic" violation testifies to the inadequate performance of the legal mechanism overseeing the work of intelligence services and also casts doubt over the actual possibility to efficiently control the surveillance software.

On January 14, 2019, the said NGO submitted another petition to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York regarding court remedy in their action against the NSA, the CIA and the United States Department of Justice. No action was taken on the initial petition for court remedy (November 21, 2018) concerning the disclosure of information on the intelligence activities in compliance with the 2015 USA Freedom Act by the aforementioned agencies.[538]

A report by the United States Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz published on December 9, 2019 describes significant shortcomings committed by the FBI in the process of electronic surveillance over the members of Donald Trump's campaign staff during the 2016 presidential campaign. In particular, to get authorization for wiretapping Carter Page, Trump's foreign policy advisor, FBI agents repeatedly submitted incomplete or unverified information, including from the Steele dossier, to the FISC, thus, in fact, misinforming the judicial authority. On December 17, 2019, the FISC Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer issued a special order in this regard, demanding that the FBI report on specific measures to put the situation right and the timetable of taking such measures.

A China Society for Human Rights Studies 2018 report on the human rights situation in the United States mentions that the US intelligence services are maintaining constant surveillance over citizens' correspondence on email, social networks and messengers (Skype and Google chats were explicitly mentioned) using interceptor software (especially PRISM).[539]

The autumn 2019 Freedom House regular report on the freedom of the Internet around the world indicates that the American law enforcement and immigration services enhanced monitoring citizens' activity in social networks and unwarranted checkups of travellers' electronic devices. The checkup itself is not usually transparent. It is pointed out that this measure affects the work of journalists.

Human right activists state that the US government actively applies the USA Freedom Act, allowing for uncontrolled and unwarranted gathering of information on phone calls, chats, messages and financial documents of US citizens. The lack of official data on the extent and scope of surveillance over the US citizens' electronic messaging hampers the public discussion as to reviewing of the Act and making changes to legal regulation in this field.[540]

Besides monitoring US citizens' contact lists, the intelligence services utilise facial recognition systems. They make frequent errors leading to discrimination and violation of the basic rights and freedoms, for example, marking non-European looking people as criminals. Given the said circumstances, some US cities forbade using such surveillance systems.[541]

According to The American Civil Liberties Union, the FBI is engaged in getting access to photos of practically every American and may use special facial recognition equipment. As of April 2019, the FBI database contained more than 640,000,000 photos. Human right activists say the FBI is developing this network without relevant official permits or tracking how many times it was used and how efficient it is.[542]

Whistleblowers also mention abuse of facial recognition systems by intelligence service agents. According to The Activist Post, police officers used a facial recognition program CORI to identify individuals they had personal interest in.[543]

The human rights community actively discusses the issue of gun ownership. Over 100,000 US citizens experience gun violence-related trauma every year.[544] According to Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, 100 people in the United States die every day in gun-related incidents. This organization keeps a chart of murders in each state, with the highest figure per 100,000 people registered in Alaska (24.5), Alabama (22.9), Arkansas (20.2), Mississippi (21.5), Montana (22.6) and New Mexico (18.5). They also register the smallest figures in states with stricter gun laws.

The Associated Press indicates that the number of mass shootings in the United States has reached a record high in 2019. According to data collected by the news agency jointly with the US Today and the Boston Northeastern University there were 41 mass murders with four or more victims in 2019. A lion's share of these (33) are attributed to shooting. A total of 210 persons lost their lives as a result of such assaults that year.[545]

Despite the increasingly frequent mass shootings in the United States, there is yet no prohibition on purchasing and owning of firearms by persons with a criminal record. The HRCtte and CERD have also underscored the urgency of that problem. In particular, they note the continually high death and trauma rates attributed to gun handling, disproportionate consequences of such incidents for ethnic minorities, as well as women and children. The HRCtte highlighted the discriminatory nature of a set of laws commonly called Stand Your Ground. According to the Committee experts, it is evoked to justify cases of exceeding the limits of necessary self-defense in violation of a member country's obligation to protect the right to life.[546]

The China Society for Human Rights Studies report on the situation in the United States mentions 57,107 cases of gun violence in 2018 wh ere 14,717 persons were killed and 28,172 wounded. Among them were 3,502 children and adolescents.[547]

In February 2019, the House of Representatives approved the Bipartisan Background Check Act to increase the range of federal control regarding the sales and transfer of firearms. Experts, however, are sceptical about the bill passing the Senate. Moreover, the White House spoke against this law. A February 25, 2019, statement qualifies measures proposed by the bill as incompatible with the Second Amendment, according to which "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed".[548]

At the same time, earlier restrictions in this field are being disputed in a number of states. For example, Washington sheriffs refuse to assure the compliance with new restrictive measures regarding the purchase of semi-automatic rifles before they are reaffirmed by court. Novelties include a ban on selling semi-automatic rifles to persons under 21 years of age and mandatory criminal record checks for buyers. Even before their entry into force from July 1, 2019, a gun rights NGO Second Amendment Foundation filed a lawsuit so as to block these measures.[549]

The issue of human rights violations, including the right to life, perpetrated by the United States while the indiscriminately use of force in armed zones, is worth to be particularly mentioned. As of the late 2018, the US Armed Forces launched over 5,000 air strikes as part of their overseas "counter-terrorist" campaigns. The highest frequency was reported in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Syria and Somalia. Reportedly, the strikes killed approximately 11,500 persons, including over 1,600 civilians (casualties among civilians were 40 per cent higher than in 2017).

The HRCtte and CERD have expressed concerns over the practice of targeted murders during the US extraterritorial counter-terrorist operations involving unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), as well as the lack of transparency regarding the criteria for launching drone strikes, including legal basis for specific attacks and the fact that no one guilty of killing of civilians was prosecuted as a result. CERD also indicated the very lax approach the United States takes when it comes to determining the geographical area of an "armed conflict", vague interpretation of the term "target" (what exactly represents an "immediate threat", who is qualified as a combatant or a civilian directly engaged in hostilities). In addition, just a few investigations, prosecutions and indictments were registered against US servicemen and other US representatives in relation to illegal killings perpetrated during international operations, as well as cases of torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment of prisoners.[550]

Washington's relevant official data radically differs from evaluations made by independent observers and human rights organizations. According to the Pentagon's annual report 120 civilians were killed in 2018 as a result of US military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Somalia, while the lack of exact information regarding civilian casualties in Libya and Yemen was also mentioned. The authenticity of this information was doubted by experts and human rights organizations. An NGO coalition of Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International USA, The American Civil Liberties Union and others, wrote an open letter to Congress members with a request to provide more transparency when estimating civilian casualty numbers. Human right activists call for Congress to tighten laws concerning the publication of Pentagon statistics. In particular, they recommended to enter the following aspects on annual reports: total number of military operations, relevant information (date, location, number of civilian casualties), explanation of possible discrepancies between official data and information from independent experts etc.[551]

On March 6, 2019, Donald Trump signed an executive order to abandon the required CIA annual report on the number of US airstrikes targeting terrorist groups outside of armed conflict zones, as well as on death rates among combatants and civilians during counter-terrorist operations. This measure is explained by the redundancy of the CIA report, as it duplicates the work of the US Defense Department, that prepares a separate, more substantive report on civilian casualties resulting from US military operations on the basis of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019. However, experts indicate the different range of CIA and Pentagon reports. The former deals with special operations, while the latter – with military action.[552]

Human rights organizations expressed concerns over that decision. Experts believe killings of civilians in other countries continue, however, now the general public will get no official information about US overseas counter‑terrorist operations.[553] It is pointed out that all operations involving UAVs (in Yemen, Libya, Niger, Pakistan, Somalia etc.) were carried out without a preliminary Congress consent.

According to a March 2019 Amnesty International report on Somalian civilian casualties resulting from strikes by American MQ‑9 Reaper UAVs and military aircraft, there was a grand total of 100 bombardments since the beginning of 2017. It states that air strikes increased in number after Donald Trump signed an executive order to designate Somalia an "armed conflict zone".[554]

Experts believe the actions of the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) violate international humanitarian law and in some cases can be classified as war crimes. Human right activists call on the United States authorities to endeavor an impartial investigation into killings of civilians and compensate the families of the deceased and afflicted.

Whistleblowers Relevant organisations express serious concerns regarding the course the US authorities have set in the migration domain. They think that migration policy restraints contradict Washington's international obligations in the field of human rights. A most important principle of international law is thus violated, namely a ban on returning asylum seekers into countries wh ere they can become victims of torture or other forms of maltreatment. The HRCtte and CERD expressed concerns to that effect.

Human right activists believe the US authorities took unprecedentedly cruel measures to "resolve" the migrant crisis, including the deployment of a military contingent on the south border to return migrants to Mexico, wh ere they must remain waiting for the completion of the review of their applications to enter the territory of the United States.

In some cases migrants are compulsively held in custody for a long time. Border guards on the American-Mexican frontier began to frequently use firearms against migrants, including unarmed ones.[555]

Thus, only in February 2019, more than 75,000 migrants were detained at the attempt to illegally cross the border. In March 2019, the number of arrests upsurged by 38 per cent; meanwhile, migrant reception centres are reportedly overstretched.

According to China Society for Human Rights Studies, since the onset of a "zero tolerance" policy in the United States in April 2018, the number of cases of cruel and inhumane treatment of migrants has increased. It specifies that at least 2,000 migrant children have been separated from their families during that period.[556]

The international human rights community criticized the Secure and Protect Act, submitted to the Senate in 2019, which practically refuses Central American migrants the right to apply for asylum in the United States. The bill envisages the creation of migrant resettlement centres in Mexico and other Central American states. Accordingly, the main objective of such centres is to deny access to the US territory to refugees who could apply for asylum in other countries of the region. Human right activists say the bill contains no obligation to have an agreement with a safe third country on admission of the asylum seeker which allows the US government to expel persons unilaterally. The executive retains the right to decrease the legally established custody standards for migrant children and to increase their detention terms in reception centres up to 100 days (instead of 20). At the same time, a ban is introduced on granting asylum to persons who have crossed the border illegally. The US border services are restricting migrants' entry through official ports already now.

Many human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch[557], Human Rights First[558] and Friends Committee on National Legislation[559] have opposed this bill. Representatives of more than 150 human rights organizations made public a letter calling on the US authorities to reject the project.[560]

After the US Supreme Court allowed the Administration to restrict the right to asylum, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) experts told Washington about the violations of international law, noting that such a radical change in the US migration policy would adversely affect those fleeing violence and persecution.[561]

Human rights organizations criticize the practice of refusing illegal migrants the access to asylum through "threats, intimidation, coercion, excessive use of force and blockage of entry points all along the American-Mexican border". US border guards systematically violate migrants' rights without providing decent detention conditions in reception centres. The method of racial profiling invoked by the US administration to deny entry into the country to residents of South America, is stressed.[562]

The HRCtte also expressed concerns about the compulsory deportation of foreigners regardless of such factors as the severity of a crime or act committed, duration of stay in the USA, health condition, family ties, fate of spouses and children left in the country or humanitarian situation in the country of destination. The HRCtte also notes the exclusion of millions undocumented foreigners and their children from the scope of the Affordable Care Act, as well as limited services to migrants who have been legally living in the United States for less than five years within Medicare and Children's Health Insurance Program which creates difficulties in accessing adequate medical care for such persons.[563]

Cases of media disruption are recorded in the United States, including arrests of journalists just doing their job. According to U.S. Press Freedom Tracker website that keeps track of encroachments on the freedom of press in the country, on March 4, 2019, three journalists were unlawfully apprehended at covering Sacramento protests close to the location, despite staying outside the event.[564]

In March 2019, Human Rights Watch called on the Congress to get the law enforcement to explain the reason for extreme vetting, confiscations of cell phones and other electronic devices, unjustified arrests of journalists, lawyers and activists crossing the American-Mexican border.[565] According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, about 23 persons, including 15 US journalists, were searched, detained and interrogated on the Mexican border. Several journalists reported being surveyed while working close to the border.[566]

There are also issues with the implementation of the right to vote in the United States. There still exist a remarkable number of state norms that envisage stripping voting rights from persons guilty of severe crimes. These laws disproportionately affect minorities. Moreover, human right activists highlight the protracted and strenuous procedure of restoring voting rights in states. Voter identification and other recently adopted constitutive requirements lead to a de facto deprivation of voting rights, especially of persons belonging to minority groups.[567]

As noted by the Brennan Center for Justice, the election security system in Pennsylvania is quite vulnerable. The electronic equipment used to count votes is outdated and cannot effectively counter modern cybersecurity threats. It is suggested to replace voting machines for a vote counting system based on duly filled in paper bulletins.[568]

On February 15, 2019, the United States Department of Justice signed a memorandum of understanding with Connecticut so as to ensure compliance with the Federal legislation in keeping registered voter lists. The 1993 National Voter Registration Act and the 2002 Help America Vote Act instructs states to keep a list of citizens entitled to vote and upd ate it when necessary.[569]

Despite the fact that Native Americans had been officially recognized as US citizens in 1924, the affirmation of their voting rights came about not earlier than 1948. Modern legislation contains a se t of requirements, which in practice discriminate against Native American community members, for example, many reserve Indians have no residential address. As a result, they are refused in registration as voters. The Brennan Center for Justice, for example, highlighted some issues in voter registration in North Dakota, the state with a sizeable native community.[570]

According to The Native Americans Voting Rights Coalition research, 32 per cent of respondents from South Dakota, 26 per cent from Nevada, 14 per cent from Arizona and 10 per cent from New Mexico claimed that the necessity to travel long distances to polls influenced their decision not to participate in elections.[571]

There are also complaints about a lack of interpreters for persons who do not speak English and scarcity of polling centres in districts with minority population. In particular, these voting rights issues were stressed by Navajo representatives (Arizona) in their lawsuit against the Arizona Secretary General, lodged soon after the 2018 midterm elections.

In a broader context, human rights organizations indicate the deficient of measures taken by the US authorities to accommodate the interests of native peoples, protracted legal procedures to stand their ground, and costly legal services. The Treaty Bodies also expressed concerns over the inadequate protection of holy sites of natives from desecration, pollution or demolition for urbanization purposes, extractive industry activities, tourism, toxic waste burial, as well as restrictions on native peoples' access to such sites necessary to preserve their religious beliefs or cultural or spiritual rites.[572]

An alarming situation is developing, through the spread of racism, xenophobia and ethnic or religious intolerance. The report on the manifestations of glorification of Nazism presented by Ms. E.Tendayi Achiume, the UN HRC Special Rapporteur on human rights and contemporary forms of racism, at the 41st session of the UN Human Rights Council (June 2019) citing a Southern Poverty Law Center research dubbed "Intelligence Report: The Year in Hate and Extremism – Rage Against Change", gives evidence of an upsurge of hate groups in the United States; by 30 per cent, since 2014, including by 7 per cent in 2018 alone.[573]

The Special Rapporteur also highlighted Young people getting recruited by neo-Nazis in schools and colleges, as well as through music festivals and the so-called cultural events.[574] She underscored the highest since the 1990s popularity of white supremacist music which effectively contributes to the dissemination of neo-Nazi views.[575]

According to human right activists, 1,020 hate groups were discovered in the United States. The cases of white supremacy propaganda increased by 182 per cent: 1,187 cases in 2018 compared to 421 in 2017.[576] In 2018, in the United States and Canada, neo-Nazis and other white supremacist organisations were responsible for at least 40 deaths.[577] According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), 71 per cent of all deaths linked to extremism from 2008 to 2017 were attributed to such groups.[578] Human rights activists link the rise of racist movements to the government immigration flops, as well as the gradual decline in the US white population.[579]

The China Society for Human Rights Studies points out that in 2018 the number of hate crimes in the United States increased by 17 per cent as compared to the previous year. Racist hate crimes constituted 60 per cent of such offences. In half the cases victims were African Americans.[580]

Human Rights Watch, citing the California State University, San Bernardino Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism May 2018 report, indicates a high racial and ethnic hate crime level in large American cities.[581]

On August 18, 2017, the CERD Early Warning and Urgent Action Procedures, being concerned by the scale of racist tendencies, called on the US authorities to clearly and decisively condemn racial hate crimes and actively promote tolerance and diversity of ethnic groups. Such an appeal was triggered by the August 2017 clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia. It is worth mentioning that already in August 2014 the CERD review of the combined seventh to ninth periodic reports of the United States of America highlighted the continuously high level of racial discrimination in the country, with the lack of a legal ban on hate speech and racial profiling practiced by law enforcement being a proof thereto. The Committee also underscored the disproportionate exposure of ethnic minorities to discrimination in different spheres of public life.[582]

In March 2019, members of "Crew 1488" racist group were charged with illegal arms trade, as well as numerous assaults, kidnappings and murders. This white supremacist gang comprised of 50-100 members. Gang members in prison also actively promoted their ideas among white inmates, in particular, by patronizing those joining the gang.[583]

Human right activists register discriminatory attitudes towards African Americans. Common are cases of using political rhetoric based on racist allusions to African slave trade, lynchings, humiliation, exploitation and violence towards African Americans.[584]

The human rights community is concerned by anti-Semitic manifestations in the United States. According to Ms. E.Tendayi Achiume, the UN HRC Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, in 2017, religious hate crimes constituted approximately 20 per cent of all hate crimes, with Jews and Jewish institutions as the most frequent targets (58 per cent of all cases). Although these crimes were mainly committed by non-extremists, the data proves a correlation between the rise of extremism in the country and a spike in anti-Semitic crime. In 2018, known extremist groups or persons inspired by extremist ideology were responsible for 249 anti-Semitic incidents accounting for 13 per cent of all cases (the highest rate of anti-Semitic crimes committed by persons linked to extremist groups since 2004).[585]

According to the Anti-Defamation League, the number of manifestations of anti-Semitism in the United States has been at an all-time high through the recent years. 2017 saw a 60 per cent increase (1,986 cases). In 2018, the total number remained almost the same (1,979) however, there was a spike in cases of physical violence towards Jews.

The investigation is ongoing into the case of Robert Bowers, who shot the congregation at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on October 27, 2018. He faced new charges of violation hate crime prevention laws. In particular, it was proven that before committing the crime, the perpetrator posted anti-Semitic comments threatening the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society on the gab.com website. Considering the new charges, Bowers may face up to 250 years with no parole or a death penalty.[586]

A kosher shop shooting in Jersey City, New Jersey on December 11, 2019 featured among other stirring incidents. It entailed deaths of four people, including two members of the Hasidic community. In April, a gunman attacked the worshippers in a synagogue in Poway, California. In the aftermath, one woman was killed and three people, including the rabbi, were seriously wounded.

In March 2019, certain human rights organizations approached US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo with a request to consider inviting Ms. E.Tendayi Achiume, UN HRC Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, to the United States for an official visit. Human right activists expressed concerns over the spike in extremist and white supremacist ideas.

The United States still has issues with the enjoyment of socio-economic rights, as well as imbalance and systemic problems in the job market. Despite the unemployment reduction (from 4.1 per cent in 2017 to 3.6 per cent in October 2019) the unemployment rates are: 7 per cent among African Americans, 4.3 per cent among Hispanic Americans, 7.9 per cent among women, 13.4 per cent among teenagers. The number of Americans working part‑time due to the absence of a permanent job is 4.3 million people.

According to the US Census Bureau, more than 40 million Americans are disadvantaged, 18.5 million of them live under the poverty line. Every third disadvantaged person is a child.

The Fortune Magazine, citing the National Bureau of Economic Research, states a persistent rise in the social inequality in the United States since 1980. This figure has already reached levels comparable to those in the times of Great Depression.[587]

The China Society for Human Rights Studies 2018 report also emphasizes income gap within the American society which is the greatest of all developed countries: currently the top 1 per cent of Americans possess 38.6 per cent of all the US wealth. More than half of all households are experiencing financial trouble. 18.5 million Americans live in extreme poverty.[588]

Mr. Philip Alston, UN HRC Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, in the aftermath of his December 2017 visit to the United States, undertook an analysis of US Administration policy and programs to combat extreme poverty. His report finds that the United States has the highest youth poverty rate of all industrially developed countries.

It is also highlighted that the US policy aimed at a gradual cancellation of primary subsidies for the most disadvantaged, as well as sanctions against the unemployed. Simultaneously the basic medical care turned from a right to a privilege, which needs to be earned. The poor are also disadvantaged with in the penitentiary system. In some states, homeless Americans get imprisoned for begging, living in the street or in public places, etc. Every year over 11 million Americans get imprisoned for minor offences, 730,000 of them being financially incapable to pay the bail.[589]

According to the Special Rapporteur, the situation is aggravated by the fact that the United States remains a "chronically segregated" society. The African American income per family is 2/3 lower than that of white families. The Special Rapporteur underscores that such "shameful" practice may be explained by a "long-standing structural discrimination on the basis of race", reflecting the enduring legacy of slavery.

According to a Pew Research Center research, the major pact of Americans believe the US economic development would be slowing down up till 2050, the national debt would continue to rise, healthcare would become even less affordable, the ecological situation would worsen and the disparity in income between the rich and the poor would increase. A sizeable number of American citizens are sceptical about their well-being after retiring. 83 per cent of respondents are convinced that to maintain decent living conditions they will have to continue working into their 70s, as they are worried about the future of the social security system. Half of the respondents predict a deterioration in the quality of life of their children.[590]

Racial prejudice and stereotypes are clearly influencing the rights to education, housing and access to work and healthcare. The UN HRC Working Group on People of African Descent pointed out that African Americans often do not have access to preventive medicine; they receive less adequate medical services. In particular, they do not receive sufficient treatment of painful conditions, in part because the widely spread racial stereotypes influence medical workers' estimation of pain suffered by a patient. Maternal morbidity rates among women of African descent are also higher by several times exceeding those among white women.[591]

The income level of an average African American family are ten times lower than those of an average white family. African Americans are 2.5 times more susceptible to poverty than whites. Infant mortality rates in African American and Hispanic American families are 1.3 times greater than in white families. The average life expectancy for members of these communities is 3.5 years shorter than for whites.[592]

The UN human rights treaty bodies, including CERD, highlighted issues in these spheres faced by minorities, African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Native Americans. These organizations underscored racial and ethnic discrimination in access to education. In fact, this leads to segregated classes and even schools with same-race students. Minorities encounter problems with enrolment into universities due to rising tuition costs. Members of these communities are also widely represented among homeless people.[593]

According to the US Department of Agriculture, in 2017 about 15 million families (11.8 per cent of all households) could not provide themselves with adequate food (in 2016 this number was 12.3 per cent) Approximately 6 million (4.5 per cent) American families are experiencing regular malnutrition. Children suffer from malnourishment in 2.9 million families. Around 58 per cent of vulnerable families participate in government nutrition assistance programs.[594]

The United States resorts to an unacceptable practice of "hunting" Russian citizens all around the world. US intelligence services take to blatant kidnappings, as, for example, happened to Konstantin Yaroshenko, captured in Liberia in 2010, and Roman Seleznev, forcibly brought to the United States from the Maldives in 2014.

The total number of Russian nationals arrested on American warrants in third countries since 2008 is 53.

US investigation bodies and courts usually take a biased approach towards Russian citizens extradited to the United States, including psychological impacts. Using different methods, including direct threats, they are coerced to plead guilty and make a plea bargain, despite the contrived charges, given long prison terms in case they do not agree.

On April 26, 2019, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia sentenced a Russian national Maria Butina, arrested by the FBI in summer 2018 and charged with "conspiracy to act as an agent of the Russian Federation, in violation of the U.S.C. (United States Code)". Having presented no evidence of her "criminal behaviour", the US authorities forced her to accept the plea bargain and basically to plead guilty through harsh confinement conditions and threats of a lengthy prison term. She was able to return home only on October 26, 2019, after having spent one year and three months in prison.

In violation of obligations under the Bilateral Consular Convention, the US authorities fail to notify Russian missions of arrested Russian nationals with in due term of three days.

The United States categorically refuses to review sentences imposed on Russian nationals, despite their obvious unfairness. Russia's suggestions to extradite Konstantin Yaroshenko and Viktor Bout in the framework of the 1983 CE Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons are refused. Humanitarian concerns are not taken into account.

[504] Concluding observations on the fourth periodic report of the United States of America. March 2014.

https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CCPR%2fC%2fUSA%2fCO%2f4&Lang=en


[505] https://www.gov.ca.gov/2019/03/13/governor-gavin-newsom-orders-a-halt-to-the-death-penalty-in-california/


[506] Concluding observations on the fourth periodic report of the United States of America. March 2014.
https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CCPR%2fC%2fUSA%2fCO%2f4&Lang=en


[507] https://www/hrw.org/news/2019/03/12/us-california-suspends-death-penalty


[508] https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/07/us/alabama-death-row-inmate-supreme-court/index.html


[509] https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/429279-alabama-executes-muslim-death-row-inmate-who-sought-imam


[510] Concluding observations on the fourth periodic report of the United States of America. March 2014.
https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CCPR%2fC%2fUSA%2fCO%2f4&Lang=en


[511] Concluding observations on the combined seventh to ninth periodic reports of the United States of America. August 2014. https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CERD%2fC%2fUSA%2fCO%2f7-9&Lang=en


[512] https://law.shu.edu/policy-research/guantanamo-reports.cfm


[513] https://www.cotton.senate.gov/files/documents/190122_Cotton_Letter%20to%20POTUS_Guantanamo%20Bay.pdf


[514] https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/06/27/qa-guantanamo-bay-us-detentions-and-trump-administration


[515] https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/01/usa-17-years-later-guantanamo-prison-remains-a-threat-to-human-rights/


[516] https://www.osce.org/odihr/366051


[517] http://www.bis.gov/content/pub/pdf/p17.pdf US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics // Prisoners in 2017


[518] https://www.sentencingproject.org/news/new-prison-jail-population-figures-released-u-s-department-justice/


[519] Concluding observations on the fourth periodic report of the United States of America. March 2014.
https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CCPR%2fC%2fUSA%2fCO%2f4&Lang=en;

Concluding observations on the combined seventh to ninth periodic reports of the United States of America. August 2014. https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CERD%2fC%2fUSA%2fCO%2f7-9&Lang=en


[520] https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2019 Human Rights Watch // World Report 2019.


[521] https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-correctional-officer-pleads-guilty-assaulting-two-handcuffed-inmates-elayn-hunt


[522] https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-supervisor-louisiana-correctional-facility-pleads-guilty-violating-civil-rights-five-0


[523] https://ejj.org/children-prison


[524] https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-arkansas-juvenile-detention-officer-pleads-guilty-assaulting-juvenile-detainee


[525] https://www.aclu.org/news/congress-enacts-national-standard-treatment-youth-criminal-courts


[526] Concluding observations on the fourth periodic report of the United States of America. March 2014.

https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CCPR%2fC%2fUSA%2fCO%2f4&Lang=en;

Concluding observations on the combined seventh to ninth periodic reports of the United States of America. August 2014.

https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CERD%2fC%2fUSA%2fCO%2f7-9&Lang=en


[527] https://acf.hhs.gov/cb/resource/child-maltreatment-2017


[528] https://www.childusa.org/


[529] https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/statement-press-secretary-42/


[530] 2019 police shootings database. The Washington Post. https://www.washigtonpost.com/graphics/2019/national/police-shootings-2019


[531] Concluding observations on the fourth periodic report of the United States of America. March 2014.
https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CCPR%2fC%2fUSA%2fCO%2f4&Lang=en;

Concluding observations on the combined seventh to ninth periodic reports of the United States of America. August 2014.

https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CERD%2fC%2fUSA%2fCO%2f7-9&Lang=en


[532] Report of the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent to seventy-fourth session of the United Nations General Assembly A/74/274. October 2019. https://undocs.org/en/A/74/274


[533] Report of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, E. Tendayi Achiume, A/74/321, pursuant to General Assembly resolution 73/262 in relation to reparations for racial discrimination rooted in slavery and colonialism. https://undocs.org/en/A/74/321


[534] https://www.justice.gov/usao-ma/pr/former-hadley-police-officer-found-guilty-using-excessive-force-against-arrestee


[535] "Get on the Ground!": Policing, Poverty, and Racial Inequality in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Human Rights Watch. 12 September 2019. https://www.hrw.org./report/2019/09/12/get-ground-policing-poverty-and-racial-inequality-tulsa-oklahoma-case-study-us-law


[536] Los Angeles officers shot at Ryan Twyman 34 times. He was one of four they killed that day. The Guardian. 15 August 2019. http://www.guardian.com/us-news/2019/aug/15/police-shootings-los-angeles-sheriffs-department-ryan-twyman


[537] Concluding observations on the fourth periodic report of the United States of America. March 2014.
https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CCPR%2fC%2fUSA%2fCO%2f4&Lang=en


[538] https://www.aclu.org/sites/default/files/field_document/17._amended_complaint_1.14.19.pdf


[539] Human Rights Record of the United States in 2018. State Council Information Office of the People's Republic of China. March 2019. http://www.chinahumanrights.org/html/2019/HRRUS_0315/12899.html


[540] https://www.aclu.org/blog/national-security/privacy-and-surveillance/how-shine-light-us-government-surveillance-americans


[541] San Francisco is first US city to ban police use of facial recognition tech. The Guardian. 15 May 2019. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/may/14/san-francisco-facial-recognition-police-ban


[542] The FBI Has Access to Over 640 Million Photos of Us Through Its Facial Recognition Database. 7 June 2019. https://www.aclu.org/blog/privacy-technology/surveillance-technologies/fbi-has-access-over-640-million-photos-us-through


[543] Police Use LexisNexis Facial Recognition To Identify Your Family And Friends. The Activist Post. 14 May 2014. https://www.activistpost.com/2019/05/police-use-lexisnexis-facial-recognition-to-identify-your-family-and-friends.html


[544] Nearly two-thirds of Americans have experienced gun-violence related trauma. The Guardian. 1 February 2019. https://www.theguardian.com/us/news/2019/feb/01/an-indelible-mark-effects-related-to-gun-violence-are-widespread-and-lasting


[545] US mass killings hit new high in 2019, most were shootings. The Associated Press. 28 December 2019. https://apnews.com/4441ae68d14e61b64110db44f906af92


[546] Concluding observations on the fourth periodic report of the United States of America. March 2014.
https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CCPR%2fC%2fUSA%2fCO%2f4&Lang=en;

Concluding observations on the combined seventh to ninth periodic reports of the United States of America. August 2014.
https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CERD%2fC%2fUSA%2fCO%2f7-9&Lang=en


[547] Human Rights Record of the United States in 2018. State Council Information Office of the People's Republic of China. March 2019. http://www.chinahumanrights.org/html/2019/HRRUS_0315/12899.html


[548] https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/saphr8hr1112hr_20190225.pdf


[549] https://www.apnews.com/bl86ce346d2d446babceafl5fec68e6c


[550] Concluding observations on the fourth periodic report of the United States of America. March 2014.
https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CCPR%2fC%2fUSA%2fCO%2f4&Lang=en;

Concluding observations on the combined seventh to ninth periodic reports of the United States of America. August 2014.

https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CERD%2fC%2fUSA%2fCO%2f7-9&Lang=en


[551] Letter to Congress on Strengthening Civilian Casualty Reporting. Human Rights Watch. 2 May 2019. http://www.hrw.org/news/2019/05/02/letter-congress-strengthening-civilian-casualty-reporting


[552] https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/30/opinion/drones-civilian-casulaties-trump-obama.html
The New York Times. The Secret Death Toll of America's Drones.


[553] https://www.aclu-org/blog/national-security/targeted-killing/keeping-civilian-drone-deaths-secret-keeps-them-going


[554] https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/afr52/9952/2019/en/


[555] Concluding observations on the combined seventh to ninth periodic reports of the United States of America. August 2014.

https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CERD%2fC%2fUSA%2fCO%2f7-9&Lang=en


[556] Human Rights Record of the United States in 2018. State Council Information Office of the People's Republic of China. March 2019. http://www.chinahumanrights.org/html/2019/HRRUS_0315/12899.html


[557] US: Bill Would Shut Doors to Central Americans. Human Rights Watch. 2 August 2019. http://www.hrw.org/news/2019/08/02/us-bill-would-shut-doors-central-americans


[558] Graham Secure and Protect Act Would Neither Provide Security no Protect the Vulnerable. The Human Rights First. 1 August 2019. https://www.humanrightsfirts.org/press-release/graham-secure-and-protect-act-would-neither-provide-security-nor-protect-vulnerable


[559] FCNL Opposes the Secure and Protect Act, Rejects Restrictions on Asylum and Expanded Detention of Families. The Friends Committee on National Legislation. 1 August 2019. https://www.fcnl.org/updates/fcnl-opposes-the-secure-and-protect-act-rejects-restrictions-on-asylum-and-expanded-detention-of-families-2250


[560] Over 150 Rights Organizations Oppose Anti-Asylum Bill. Human Rights Watch. 2 August 2019. http://www.hrw.org/news/2019/07/31/over-150-rights-organizations-oppose-anti-asylum-bill


[561] Las nuevas restricciones al asilo en Estados Unidos afectaran a los mas vulnerales. Notcias ONU. 13 Sptiembre 2019. https://news.un.org/es/story/2019/09/1462062


[562] Ref. Southern Poverty Law Center Statement on Trump administration policy that forces asylum seekers to wait in Mexico. https://www.splcenter.org/news/2019/01/25/splc-statement-trump-administration-policy-forces-asylum-seekers-wait-mexico, also The American Civil Liberties Union statement https://aclu/org/issues/immigrants-rights/ice-and-border-patrol-abuses.


[563] Concluding observations on the fourth periodic report of the United States of America. March 2014.
https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CCPR%2fC%2fUSA%2fCO%2f4&Lang=en;

Concluding observations on the combined seventh to ninth periodic reports of the United States of America. August 2014.
https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CERD%2fC%2fUSA%2fCO%2f7-9&Lang=en


[564] https://pressfreedomtracker.us/


[565] https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/03/08/us-harassing-joumalists-lawyers-activists-border


[566] https://www.aclu.org/blog/free-speech/freedom-press/government-detaining-and-interrogating-journalists-and-advocates-us


[567] Concluding observations on the fourth periodic report of the United States of America. March 2014.
https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CCPR%2fC%2fUSA%2fCO%2f4&Lang=en;

Concluding observations on the combined seventh to ninth periodic reports of the United States of America. August 2014.
https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CERD%2fC%2fUSA%2fCO%2f7-9&Lang=en


[568] https://www.brennancenter.org/blog/heres-how-protect-pennsylvanias-voting-system Brennan Center for Justice // Here's how to protect Pennsylvania's voting system.


[569] https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/united-states-announces-mernorandum-understanding-ensuring-compliance-voter-registration Department of Justice // United States announces memorandum of understanding ensuring compliance with voter registration requirements.


[570] https://www.brennancenter.org/blog/state-native-american-voting-rights


[571] https://www.narf.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/2017NAVRCsurvey-summarv.pdf


[572] Ref. Concluding observations on the fourth periodic report of the United States of America. March 2014.
https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CCPR%2fC%2fUSA%2fCO%2f4&Lang=en;

Concluding observations on the combined seventh to ninth periodic reports of the United States of America. August 2014.

https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CERD%2fC%2fUSA%2fCO%2f7-9&Lang=en


[573] Report of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, E. Tendayi Achiume, A/HRC/41/55 on the forty-first session of the UN Human Rights Council, June 2019. https://undocs.org/A/HRC/41/55

Southern Poverty Law Center research Intelligence Report: The Year in Hate and Extremism – Rage Against Change, issue 166 (Spring 2019). https://www.splcenter.org/sites/default/files/intelligence_report_166.pdf


[574] Report of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, E. Tendayi Achiume, A/HRC/41/55 on the forty-first session of the UN Human Rights Council, June 2019. https://undocs.org/A/HRC/41/55


[575] Report of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related Intolerance, E. Tendayi Achiume, A/HRC/38/53 to the thirty-eighth session of the UN Human Rights Council, June 2018.

https://undocs.org/en/A/HRC/38/53


[576] Anti-Defamation League. "White supremacists step up off-campus propaganda efforts in 2018". www.adl.org/resources/reports/white-supremacists-step-up-off-campus-propaganda-efforts-in-2018


[577] "Southern Poverty Law Center" исследование "Intelligence Report: The Year in Hate and Extremism – Rage against Change", issue 166 (spring 2019).

https://www.splcenter.org/sites/default/files/intelligence_report_166.pdf


[578] Anti-Defamation League. "Murder and extremism in the United States in 2017", p. 7.

www.adl.org/resources/reports/murder-and-extremism-in-the-united-states-in-2017


[579] https://www.splcenter.org/


[580] Human Rights Record of the United States in 2018. State Council Information Office of the People's Republic of China. March 2019. http://www.chinahumanrights.org/html/2019/HRRUS_0315/12899.html


[581] https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/03/21/nearly-90-groups-urge-us-invite-un-special-rapporteur-racism-us


[582] Concluding observations on the combined seventh to ninth periodic reports of the United States of America. August 2014.

https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CERD%2fC%2fUSA%2fCO%2f7-9&Lang=en


[583] https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/multi-agency-investigation-results-charges-against-18-members-and-associates-violent-white


[584] Report of the Working Group of Experts on People of African to the seventy-fourth session of the United Nations General Assembly. October 2019. https://undocs.org/en/A/74/274


[585] Report of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, E. Tendayi Achiume, to the seventy-fourth session of the United Nations General Assembly A/74/253, pursuant to Assembly resolution 73/157. https://undocs.org/ru/A/74/253


[586] https://www.justice.gov/usao-wdpa/pr/additional-charges-filed-tree-life-synagogue-shooting-0


[587] Gilded Age 2.0: U.S. Income Inequality Increases to Pre-Great Depression Levels. Fortune. June 2019. https://fortune.com/2019/02/13/us-income-inequality-bad-great-depression


[588] Human Rights Record of the United States in 2018. State Council Information Office of the People's Republic of China. March 2019. http://www.chinahumanrights.org/html/2019/HRRUS_0315/12899.html


[589] Report of the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, on his mission to the United States of America in December 2017. May 2018.

https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G18/125/30/PDF/G1812530.pdf?OpenElement


[590] Looking to the Future, Public Sees an America Decline on Many Fronts. Pew Research Center. 21 March 2019. https://www.pewsocialtrends.org.2019/03/21/public-sees-an-america-in-decline-on-many-fronts


[591] Report of the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent to seventy-fourth session of the United Nations General Assembly A/74/274. October 2019. https://undocs.org/en/A/74/274


[592] Human Rights Record of the United States in 2018. State Council Information Office of the People's Republic of China. March 2019. http://www.chinahumanrights.org/html/2019/HRRUS_0315/12899.html


[593] Concluding observations on the combined seventh to ninth periodic reports of the United States of America. August 2014. https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CERD%2fC%2fUSA%2fCO%2f7-9&Lang=en


[594] https://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/pub-details/?pubid=90022