39 countries reprimand China at UN General Assembly’s human rights committee for its treatment of Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Tibet

German Ambassador Christoph Heusgen. (Courtesy: UN)

(TibetanReview.net, Oct07’20) – The communist Chinese government came under severe reprimand from a group of 39 countries at the UN General Assembly’s human rights committee on Oct 6 for its deplorable record on respect for human rights of the people under its rule. Led by the German Ambassador Christoph Heusgen, these democratic countries have sought to take China to task especially for its genocidal policies in Xinjiang and severe violations of universal rights in Hong Kong and Tibet.

The group of mainly Western countries that included United States, many European countries, Japan, has raised concerns including Beijing’s treatment of ethnic minorities in Tibet and Xinjiang, allegations of excessive force against protesters, reports of retaliation against people who spoke out about the coronavirus outbreak, and Hong Kong’s then proposed new security law.

The 39 countries have called on China to allow “unfettered access” to Xinjiang for independent observers including UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet, and to urgently refrain from detaining Uighurs and members of other minorities.

On Hong Kong, they have asked China “to uphold autonomy, rights and freedoms in Hong Kong, and to respect the independence of the Hong Kong judiciary.”

In particular, the 39 signatories shared the concerns expressed by 50 independent UN human rights experts in an “extraordinary letter” in June in which they urged the international community to “take all appropriate measures” to monitor China and “act collectively and decisively” to ensure its government respects human rights.

Their statement, read by Heusgen, was immediately followed by a statement from Pakistan on behalf of 55 countries opposing interference in China’s affairs when it comes to Hong Kong. It said the territory is part of China, and the national security law ensures China’s “one country, two systems” policy on Hong Kong is enduring.

Cuba followed with a statement on behalf of 45 countries in support of China.

Chinese Ambassador Zhang Jun accused the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom of abusing the United Nations’ platform, politicising human rights issues, provoking “political confrontation” and insisting on “provoking antagonism,” reported the AP Jun 7.

Heusgen has countered by saying the growing support for the mainly Western statement showed that “today there is a sign of hope for human rights, and there is a sign of hope for the Uighurs in China.”

He has said that last year’s statement only on the Uighurs was backed by 23 countries while this year’s broader statement including Hong Kong had 39 supporters.

The 39 countries were: Albania, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Monaco, Nauru, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Palau, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany.


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