Chronology of Human Rights Violations of the United States in 2015

Updated: 2016-04-15 08:27

(China Daily)

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Chronology of Human Rights Violations of the United States in 2015

A woman takes part in a protest against the police in Manhattan, New York, on Dec 28 after a grand jury cleared two Cleveland police officers in the 2014 fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice. Rice was brandishing a toy gun in a park, and a prosecutor said there were a series of mistakes but no criminal activity.[Photo/Reuters]



Dec. 1

According to the Guardian website, 37-year-old Mustafa al-Aziz al-Shamiri had been held without charge indefinitely at Guantanamo since 2002 for 13 years.

Dec. 2

The USA Today website reported that two gunmen opened fire on a festive staff holiday party at a social services center in San Bernardino on this day, killing 14 and injuring 17 others.

Dec. 10

A new Pew Research Center analysis revealed that the American middle class is shrinking due to slow income growth, and the middle class made up 49.9 percent of the US adult population in 2015, down from 61 percent in 1971. This is the first time for the proportion to drop below 50 percent.

Dec. 11

An article at the USA Today website reported that Daniel Holtzclaw, a former Oklahoma City police officer, was convicted of sexually assaulting women he preyed upon in a low-income neighborhood he patrolled. He was convicted of 18 counts-four charges of first-degree rape and 14 other counts-connected to eight women, all of whom were black. A probe revealed about 1,000 officers had lost their licenses for sex crimes or other sexual misconduct in a six-year period.

At the end of a 10-day mission to the United States, a UN Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice noted that in 2010 and 2015, in the framework of its Universal Periodic Review, the US government committed to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women but this commitment has not yet been implemented. In the United States, women fall behind international standards with regard protections of their right s.

Dec. 12

The BBC website reported that a survey of more than 6,000 hosts in five U.S. cities concluded that names that sounded African-American were about 16 percent less likely to get a positive response to a request for a room when compared against white-sounding names like Brad or Kristen.

Dec. 13

The website of the Miami Herald reported that Lowell Correctional Institution, the nation's largest women's prison, was haunted by corruption and sex scandals. Women alleged in complaints, filed between 2011 and May 2015, that the officers pressure inmates to have sex in bathrooms, closets, the laundry and officers' stations.

Dec. 15

According to the Christian Science Monitor website, the US president first promised to close Guantanamo Bay detention camp in 2007. But until Dec 15, 2015, 107 prisoners still remained in custody. The UN said indefinite imprisonment of detainees without charge or trial violated international law, calling on the United States to close the military prison camp.

Dec. 16

A report carried by the website of the Miami Herald disclosed corruption and brutality of Patrick Quercioli, a corrections officer at Lowell Correctional Institution for women. Though he'd been arrested twice, Quercioli managed to persuade the Florida Department of Corrections to hire him in 2004. He was known among prisoners as one of the most menacing officers at the correctional institution. In the past 10 years 57 inmates died in the prison, not counting those who made it to hospital.

On the same day, a Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll in December 2015 showed that only 34 percent of Americans believe race relations in the United States were fairly good or very good, down 43 percentage points from 2009.

On the same day, Airwars reported on its website that between August 8, 2014 and December 16, 2015, 123 airstrikes launched by U.S.-led coalition forces caused between 757 to 1,073 civilian deaths.

Dec. 17

According to the, intelligence agencies in the United States resort to high technology to spy on civilians. Dozens of cell phone surveillance devices such as Stingray and "dirt boxes" were used by intelligence agencies, such as the NSA and the CIA, to eavesdrop on calls and spy on SMS messages. Two systems are touted as having the ability to extract media files, address books and retrieve deleted text messages.

Dec. 18

Drug (mostly prescription painkillers and heroin) overdose deaths hit record numbers, according to a report released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 47,000 people died from drug overdoses in 2014, an increase of 6 percent from 2013.

Dec. 24

According to, former Pentagon official and missile expert Theodore Postol said the targeting of civilian populations for annihilation by U.S. nuclear forces in the 1950s continues to this day. "The fact of the matter is that we have targeted populations from the very beginning and do so to this day," he said.

Dec. 27

The Washington Post website reported that 55-year-old black woman Bettie Jones and her 19-year-old neighbor Quintonio LeGrier were "accidentally" shot dead on December 26 by a police officer in an apartment in Chicago when he responded to a report of a domestic disturbance.

Dec. 28

According to a toll report by the website of the Gun Violence Archive, there were a total of 51,675 gun violence incidents in the United States in 2015, including 329 mass shootings. Altogether 13,136 were killed and 26,493 injured, including 682 children aged zero to 11 and 2,640 teens aged 12 to 17.

Dec. 31

According to data posted on The Washington Post website, 990 people were fatally shot by police in the United States in 2015. On a monthly basis, police shot dead 76 people in January, 77 in February, 92 in March, 84 in April, 71 in May, 65 in June, 104 in July, 94 in August, 80 in September, 82 in October, 76 in November and 89 in December.

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