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Tipsheet

Not The Onion: China Selected to Serve On UN Human Rights Council Panel

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

Tens of thousands of people across the globe have died so far from the Wuhan Coronavirus, thanks to the fact that China lied about what was happening in the country, disappeared doctors and activists who spoke up about it, and claimed the virus was not transmissible. They kicked out U.S. journalists, lied about the total number of sick and the death count, and gave the world incomplete data that initially led the U.S. medical community to believe the virus “was serious, but smaller than anyone expected,” according to Dr. Deborah Birx.

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On top of this, there is its abysmal record on human rights issues, including forcibly disappearing citizens who dissent, arbitrary detention and torture of Muslim populations, suppression of Christians, draconian restrictions on speech, and much more.

So it’s inexplicable that last week, China was named to the United Nations Human Rights Council, with Jiang Duan, minister at the Chinese Mission in Geneva, now sitting on the Council’s Consultative Group, which plays an important role in choosing human rights investigators who will oversee freedom of speech, enforced disappearances, health, and arbitrary detention abuses. 

“It’s absurd and immoral for the UN to allow China’s oppressive government a key role in selecting officials who shape international human rights standards and report on violations worldwide,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, adding that it's "like making a pyromaniac into the town fire chief."

By joining the UNHRC panel, China will be able to influence the selection of at least 17 UN human rights mandate-holders over the next year, known as special procedures, who investigate, monitor, and publicly report on either specific country situations, or on thematic issues in all parts of the world, such as freedom of speech and religion.

China will help vet candidates for the critical UN human rights posts — serving as Chair of the interview processes for at least five of the mandates — and help decide whom to recommend for appointment. In most cases, the council president appoints the experts selected by the 5-nation panel.

The appointment of China comes despite the fact that the government in Beijing is widely considered to commit gross and systematic violations of human rights affecting its 1.3 billion people. (UN Watch)

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“The UN often describes the UN human rights experts as the ‘crown jewels’ of its Human Rights Council, yet the world body only undermines their legitimacy by picking an authoritarian regime that oppresses human rights activists, dissidents and minorities to preside over the experts’ appointment,” said Neuer, noting that Venezuela, Pakistan, Eritrea, and Qatar are also among its elected members. 

Nikki Haley, former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., said you can't make up this type of news. 

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