The China Society for Human Rights Studies (CSHRS), a Chinese NGO, accused the United States of committing human rights violations in the Middle East in a report published on Tuesday.
In the report titled “U.S. commits serious crimes of violating human rights in the Middle East and beyond,” the CSHRS listed some of the supposed violations the U.S. committed while at war in the Middle East, including crimes against humanity, war crimes and the torture of prisoners.
Since the Cold War ended, the U.S. has “been involved in almost all major conflicts and wars in the Middle East and surrounding regions,” the report stated.
Citing statistics from a January 2019 report by Smithsonian magazine, the CSHRS noted that the U.S. has launched wars and military operations in 40 percent of the world’s nations since 2001 under its Global War on Terrorism initiative.
Calling the U.S. a “warmongering” nation, the report claimed that the U.S. caused “direct, serious and lasting damage” to locals after launching the Gulf War (1990-1991), the Afghanistan War (2001-2021) and the Iraq War (2003-2011), among others. The NGO also accused the U.S. of creating a “humanitarian disaster rarely seen throughout the world” after becoming involved in the Syrian War and the Libyan War.
One of the CSHRS’s examples was the casualties during the Afghanistan War. Over 174,000 people died, 47,000 of whom were civilians, the report said, citing Brown University’s Costs of War Project, which has since been taken down. In addition to the casualties, the CSHRS cited the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and stated that the war displaced 3.5 million non-Afghans and forced 2.6 million Afghans to leave their homes.
Around 209,000 Iraqi civilians died during the Iraq War, and more than 9.2 million Iraqis were either forced out of their homeland or had to become refugees, the CSHRS stated, citing statistics company Statista.
“The US-initiated Gulf War, the Iraq War and subsequent violent conflicts have destroyed much of Iraq’s infrastructure, grossly reduced the capacity of the country’s public services, and the people are faced with a lack of water, electricity and medical care, with the poor, children, widows, the elderly and other most vulnerable groups suffering the most,” the NGO’s report read.
The report also stated that the U.S. carried out air strikes that often killed civilians during its anti-terrorism operations in places such as Syria.
Besides war, the CSHRS accused the U.S. of “turning a blind eye to the global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic” by continuing to impose unilateral sanctions on Syria, Iran and other nations, which in turn makes it more challenging for these places to acquire medical supplies to combat the virus.
“At this crucial time, both for global public health reasons, and to support the rights and lives of millions of people in these countries, sectoral sanctions should be eased or suspended,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said in 2020, which was quoted in the report. “In a context of global pandemic, impeding medical efforts in one country heightens the risk for all of us.”
By fiscal year 2021, the U.S. has had over 9,400 sanctions in effect, making the country the only “sanctions superpower” in the world, according to the report. One of the countries that has reportedly been affected for years is Iraq, which lost $150 billion in oil revenue from August 1990 to May 2003.
“Facts show that the United States has seriously violated the basic human rights of local people in the Middle East and other places, causing permanent damage and irreparable losses to countries and people in the region,” the report said.
“The nature of American hegemony and the barbarity, cruelty and perniciousness of its power politics have been completely exposed, and the people of the world have a better understanding of the hypocrisy and deception of the American democracy and the American human rights,” the report concluded.