China’s Election to the UN Human Rights Council


China was rewarded with a seat on the Human Rights Council– a perfect example of the hypocrisy rampant at the United Nations

Joseph A. Klein, CFP United Nations Columnist image

Re-Posted from the Canada Free Press By Joseph A. Klein, CFP United Nations Columnist —— Bio and ArchivesOctober 14, 2020

China’s Election to the UN Human Rights CouncilOctober 13, 2020 was “a black day for human rights,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, the Geneva-based non-governmental human rights organization. Mr. Neuer was lamenting the fact that the United Nations General Assembly was preparing to vote to elect some of the world’s worst serial human rights abusing regimes to membership on the UN Human Rights Council. The regimes elected included China, Russia and Cuba. A Joint NGO Report issued by UN Watch, Human Rights Foundation and the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights on October 5, 2020 branded these regimes “unqualified.” The Joint NGO Report reached its conclusion based on the criteria that the UN General Assembly itself set, which required that “members elected to the Council shall uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights.”

The Chinese Communist regime is a wellspring of gross human rights abuses

The UN General Assembly’s vote to grant China membership in the Human Rights Council illustrates how the United Nations has made a complete mockery of the human rights protections it professes to uphold. The Chinese Communist regime is a wellspring of gross human rights abuses. The regime routinely crushes dissent, extending its authoritarian methods to Hong Kong. It tortures and arbitrary imprisons its citizens who do not toe the official party line. The regime is a surveillance state that negates any individual privacy rights, and it censors the press and online social media. Journalists who dare to stray into politically sensitive areas that the regime considers forbidden territory are regularly forced out of their jobs or jailed. The regime also engages in persecution of people of faith, including Christians, Buddhists and Muslims. 

In these respects, the Chinese regime is in sync with the human rights abuses of other authoritarian regimes. However, what places China in a class by itself today when it comes to human rights abuses are the internment camps the regime has established to arbitrarily detain more than one million Uighurs and other Muslims. The Joint NGO Report referenced the horrific conditions to which these detainees have been subjected, including political indoctrination, systematic torture, and the forced sterilization and abortions of female prisoners. The Uighurs and other Muslims who are not presently detained still live under repressive conditions. They are subjected to constant surveillance, the suppression of the use of their own language, and the banning of their cultural and religious practices.

Here is how the U.S. State Department described this unique example of ethnic cleansing in the 21st century, which the Chinese regime has justified to “contain and eradicate extremism”:

“The broad definition of extremism resulted in the reported detention since 2017 of more than one million Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and other Muslims in ‘transformation through education’ centers, or detention centers, designed to instill patriotism and erase their religious and ethnic identities. This included many of those ordered to return to China from studying or working abroad. International media reported security officials in the centers abused, tortured, and killed some detainees.”

“Outside the internment camps, the government implemented severe restrictions on expressions of minorities’ culture, language, and religious identity, including regulations prohibiting behaviors the government considered signs of ‘extremism’ such as growing ‘abnormal’ beards, wearing of veils in public places, and suddenly stopping smoking and drinking alcohol, among other behaviors. The regulations banned the use of some Islamic names when naming children and set punishments for the teaching of religion to children. Authorities conducted ‘household surveys’ and ‘home stays’ in which officials or volunteers forcibly lived in Uighurs’ homes and monitored families for signs of ‘extremism.’”

“Authorities searched cell phones at checkpoints and during random inspections of Uighur households, and persons in possession of alleged terrorist material, including pictures of general religious or cultural importance, could be arrested and charged with crimes.”

The Chinese regime is also unique in another respect from a human rights perspective, which is particularly relevant during this year of the coronavirus pandemic. The Chinese Communist regime deliberately withheld key information about the coronavirus, which originated in China, when it first became aware that the virus was highly contagious through human-to-human transmission. Chinese authorities cracked down on whistle blowers such as Dr Li Wenliang who wanted to warn the public about the emerging coronavirus threat before it could spread completely out of control. Authorities censored any negative stories in the media or on the Internet about how the Chinese government was handling the coronavirus outbreak. The World Health Organization accepted at face value the inaccurate information it received from China during the early weeks of the outbreak, when the virus’s spread could have been much more easily contained.

The Chinese Communist regime was in a position to come clean about the virulent virus that was first detected in Wuhan, China in late 2019, before the virus escaped China’s borders and set off a global pandemic. Chinese authorities decided not to do so. Instead, the Chinese regime put its own image first, willing to sacrifice the basic human right to life and well-being of people all over the world. Over a million people have since died from the coronavirus to date. Many of these peoples’ lives might well have been saved if Chinese authorities had been more forthright at the outset. The regime’s abysmal behavior in this regard falls far short of the supposed standard for membership on the UN Human Rights Council – to “uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights.” Yet China was rewarded with a seat on the Human Rights Council anyway – a perfect example of the hypocrisy rampant at the United Nations

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