Pressure Mounts for U.N. to Expel China, Cuba from Human Rights Council After Russia Ouster

Human rights activists are demanding the United Nations expel China, Cuba, Venezuela, and several other members of its Human Rights Council following the suspension of Russia’s membership on Thursday in light of their abysmal human rights records – in China’s case, including genocide.

The General Assembly, the U.N.’s largest body, voted to expel Russia from the Human Rights Council on Thursday in response to its ongoing war of aggression against Ukraine, also currently a Council member.

The vote came to the General Assembly floor specifically in response to what evidence suggests are widespread war crimes in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha, where Ukrainian forces, following the removal of Russian troops, found evidence of torture chambers, mass graves, and dead civilians apparently tied up before being executed.

The Russian government has branded the circumstances in Bucha a “false flag” operation. While Moscow has not denied that war crimes occurred there, Russian officials have insisted that Ukrainian forces committed them to embarrass Russia.

The General Assembly voted to remove Russia from the Council 93 to 24. The vote was the second of its kind in history after Libya under Muammar Qaddafi lost its seat on the Council in 2011.

The results of the votes to expel Russia from the U.N. Human Rights Council of members of the United Nations General Assembly is seen on a screen during a continuation of the Eleventh Emergency Special Session on the invasion of Ukraine on April 07, 2022 in New York City. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty)

Post-Qaddafi Libya currently has a seat on the Human Rights Council, despite being home to an extensively documented slave trade and regularly experiencing outrageous violence against civilians as the internationally recognized government battles for control of the country against Russia-backed warlord Khalifa Haftar. The Ukrainian government claimed – though with little evidence – last month that Haftar was sending battle-hardened Libyan fighters to help the Russians seize territory in their country.

Libya joins China, Cuba, Venezuela, Mauritania, Eritrea, Sudan, Somalia, Qatar, Benin, Cameroon, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, India, Malaysia, Côte d’Ivoire, and Kazakhstan as nations on the Human Rights Council with human rights records that range from questionable to atrocious.

In remarks on Wednesday, following the call by the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. to remove Russia from the body, the head of the NGO U.N. Watch noted that, to truly legitimize the Council, every human rights violator should be ousted. U.N. Watch is an organization that monitors the United Nations’ activities, particularly mismanagement, abuses committed by U.N. members and officials, and the manipulation of the body by dictatorships.

The head of U.N. Watch, Hillel Neuer, noted America’s call to remove Russia in a speech at the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy on Wednesday, urging the removal of all dictatorships.

“This is what we’ve been saying all along, when we tried to stop Russia, China, and Cuba from getting elected two years ago, but we couldn’t get any governments to say this,” Neuer noted. “And from day 1 of the invasion in February, we called on Russia to be expelled from the Council. … But this should be a larger turning point. After Russia is removed, we urge the same to be done to other dictatorships.”

The Center for a Free Cuba, a human rights organization, similarly issued a statement calling for the removal of “China, Cuba, Eritrea, Libya, Mauritania, and Venezuela” from the Council. Cuba and Venezuela, close allies of Russia and China, have faced decades of accusations of using police repression to silence and disappear political dissidents, among other crimes. Eritrea, also a Russian and Chinese ally, is facing accusations of aiding the government of neighboring Ethiopia in its current civil war against the Tigray ethnic minority there, which some have described as a genocide – though international consensus on the matter does not yet exist.

“Now is the time to clean up the dysfunctional Human Rights Council so that it can fulfill its duties in this critical movement,” John Suárez, the executive director of the Center for a Free Cuba, said following the vote on Russia.

China, the largest country on the Human Rights Council, is also arguably the most egregious violator of human rights in the world. The Chinese Communist Party is currently engaging in genocide against multiple majority-Muslim ethnic groups in occupied East Turkistan, which it calls Xinjiang – most prominently the Uyghur people who are indigenous to that region.

Sergiy Kyslytsya, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations, speaks as members of the United Nations General Assembly meet for a continuation of the Eleventh Emergency Special Session on the invasion of Ukraine on April 07, 2022 in New York City. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty)

China has forced as many as 3 million people into concentration camps, forcibly sterilized entire villages to ensure the population of ethnic minorities does not grow, and forced people to suffer indoctrination, beatings, sleep deprivation, gang rape, slavery, and medical testing suggestive of organ harvesting.

The Chinese government voted against removing Russia from the Council and angrily condemned those countries who pushed for the suspension of its membership.

“China firmly opposes the politicization and instrumentalization of the human rights issue, rejects selective and confrontational approaches as well as double standards on human rights issue, and opposes pressuring other countries in the name of human rights,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters on Friday when asked about Russia’s removal from the Council. “Such a move will only aggravate the division among member states and intensify the contradictions between the parties concerned. It is like adding fuel to the fire, which is not conducive to the de-escalation of conflicts, and even less so to advancing the peace talks.”

Zhao claimed expelling Russia would “set a new and dangerous precedent,” presumably of holding human rights violators accountable for their actions.

Follow Frances Martel on Facebook and Twitter.

Read More From Original Article Here:

" Conservative News Daily does not always share or support the views and opinions expressed here; they are just those of the writer."

Related Articles

Sponsored Content
Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker