Maat Publishes a Report on the "Mid-Term" Review of the United States of America
Okeil: 400 people were killed by the US police in 2022, most of them are black
Marina Sabri: Continued imposition of unilateral coercive measures by the US undermines the promotion of human rights in the world
Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights issued a new report entitled "Two years after the Universal Periodic Review... To What Extent Did America Implement its Commitments?", in which it monitored and documented the human rights situation in the United States of America since two years, specifically the third session of the UPR conducted in November 2020, in order to know the progress made in implementing the pledges that the US authorities have voluntarily accepted and the pledges that have not been implemented so far, in addition to presenting a set of recommendations, on the sideline of the United States' submission of its voluntary midterm report to the UPR mechanism.
The United States was subjected to the UPR process for the third time on November 9, 2020. It received during the adoption session of the UPR outcome, (347 recommendations), of which it fully and partially accepted (280 recommendations), and rejected (67 recommendations). By analyzing these recommendations, Maat found that most of them addressed 5 main axes; namely joining international treaties; preventing discrimination and combating racism; abolition of the death penalty; cooperation with UN bodies; and ending violence and use of excessive force by police in the United States.
The report indicated that the US received 63 recommendations related to the ratification of core human rights treaties to which the United States is still not a party. By reviewing the agreements to which the US has not yet joined, Maat found that the United States has not yet acceded to six basic human rights treaties and conventions, which is 66% of the total of these agreements and treaties, including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), and the International Convention for the Protection of Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (CRMW), nor has it acceded to the Optional Protocols to the Conventions Against Torture (OPCAT) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The report indicated that the United States had received 35 recommendations related to the abolition of the death penalty and the provision of legal assistance to people who had been sentenced to death. Nevertheless, the death penalty still applies in the United States, where 22 people were executed in six states in 2022.
According to the report, the United States has accepted about 38 recommendations on preventing discrimination and combating racial discrimination, yet racism is still rampant in the United States of America. The report stated that the United States had failed to implement international legal standards to combat racism. This means that there are other steps that the US must take to implement the recommendations it has accepted regarding combating racism and preventing discrimination, especially with regard to the rights of people from religious minorities, indigenous peoples, immigrants, and people with disabilities.
The report also indicated that the US government accepted 5 recommendations related to limiting the spread of firearms in the USA. Yet, it has not fully implemented the recommendations so far, as efforts towards implementing the recommendations included proposing federal legislation that would track arms sales or establish a registry of handguns. However, this legislation was subjected to resistance from the gun lobby in the United States of America. The report stated that there are about 860 million weapons in the possession of civilians in the USA. Besides, during the period from 2000 to 2020, the annual production of firearms in the USA almost tripled to the extent that it is said that the number of weapons exceeds the number of individuals in the United States and that 46% of civilian ownership of weapons in the world is confined to the USA.
The proliferation of weapons has consequently led to successive incidents of violence. Since the United States’ third UPR, about 1,339 armed violence operations occurred, including about 692 mass shootings in 2021, which led to the death and injury of 45,000 people. 2022 witnessed about 647 mass shootings that led to the death and injury of 44,000.
In this context, the international human rights expert and President of Maat, Ayman Okeil, said that the US had received 30 recommendations on ending police violence and use of excessive force. Nevertheless, the American police continued to practice violence and excessive force, especially against people of African descent and the colored, Okeil added. In 2022 alone, 400 people were killed by the police on basis of color and race, as the police kill black people three times more than white people. Okeil called on the United States to establish a mechanism at the federal and state levels to implement the recommendations of the UPR made in the third session of the review.
Marina Sabry, Deputy Director of the International Mechanisms Unit at Maat, indicated that the United States had received five recommendations related to ending the unilateral coercive measures imposed by the United States of America on a group of people in some countries that oppose its policy, and added that the United States imposes these measures on more than more than 9,000 people and that continuing to impose unilateral coercive measures undermines the promotion of human rights in the world.