UNITED NATIONS — After reviewing information provided by the U.S. government and dozens of nongovernmental organizations, the UN’s Human Rights Committee (HRC) has issued a scathing condemnation of human rights abuses in the U.S.

The July 28 HRC report, issued in Geneva, Switzerland, condemns the disenfranchisement of ex-convicts in many U.S. states. Perhaps most notably, it points out the racist nature of the death penalty and calls for the U.S. to put a moratorium on all executions.

Noting the inadequate response by the U.S. government to the effects of Hurricane Katrina, it adds, “50 percent of homeless people are African American although they only constitute 12 percent of the U.S. population,” and says the U.S. must take measures to end this “de facto and historically generated racial discrimination.”

The report says segregation is still rampant in U.S. schools, leaving “wide disparities in the quality of education across school districts in metropolitan areas, to the detriment of minority students.”

The U.S. was required by law to submit human rights data to the UN under the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, but it did so late, seven years after the information had been asked for. The delay by itself showed contempt for the UN and constituted a violation of international law, critics said.

The consequences of President Bush’s “war on terror” drew much of the HRC’s fire. The report says there is “credible and uncontested information” that the U.S. has detained people secretly for “years on end.” Even when detention is acknowledged, the report says, the prisoners are kept incommunicado, violating the UN covenant.

The HRC demanded that the U.S. immediately abolish all secret detention facilities and grant the Red Cross access to any person detained in any armed conflict.

The report also condemns the “use of interrogation techniques such as prolonged stress positions and isolation, sensory deprivation, hooding, exposure to cold or heat, sleep and dietary adjustments, 20-hour interrogations, removal of clothing and of all comfort items, as well as religious items, forced grooming, and exploitation of detainees’ individual phobias.”

The report expresses concern that U.S. personnel convicted of torture at camps in Guantanamo Bay, Afghanistan and Iraq have received “excessively light” sentences. It condemns the Bush administration’s practice of “rendition,” sending a detainee to another country for torture.

The HRC also hit the violations of civil liberties and immigrant rights in the U.S., singling out the Patriot Act and the REAL ID Act, along with reports of National Security Agency spying on private e-mail and phone calls.

Racial profiling was also condemned, as well as discrimination against women and against the GLBTQ community, “including by law enforcement officials.”

The HRC was particularly concerned about the millions of undocumented workers living in the United States, and was troubled that the U.S. provided nearly no information on their status. It also expressed worry about the “increasing militarization of the Mexican border.”

The committee directed the U.S. to fix its human rights record and report back by 2010.