Beijing elected to the Human Rights Council

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Originally published by on October 14, 2020

Humanitarian organizations had called for its exclusion. Chinese accused of repressing ethnic minorities and democratic activists. Beijing defeated Saudi Arabia for the seat. Now the United Nations body is 60% composed of countries that do not respect the minimum standards of a democracy.

Geneva (AsiaNews / Agencies) – China will have a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council. The election of the 15 vacant posts took place yesterday; for the Asia-Pacific region, Beijing won the competition over Saudi Arabia, which came under fire for the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Humanitarian organizations had asked member states to block China’s entry into the Council. According to a recent report by Chinese Human Rights Defenders, the Chinese authorities do not implement the recommendations made by the UN on respect for human rights.

Activists and a large part of the international community maintain that the Chinese regime is guilty of repressing the Uyghurs of Xinjiang and other Muslim minorities, the Tibetans, the people of Hong Kong, doctors engaged in the fight against the coronavirus, lawyers, journalists and other personalities they invoke more democracy.

Of all the states elected in this round, China is the one that has collected the fewest votes (139; in 2016 it had obtained 180). Observers point out that the Council is now 60% made up of countries that do not respect the minimum standards of a free democracy; in addition to that of Beijing, the entry of Russia, Cuba, Pakistan and Uzbekistan is being targeted by human rights groups.

This very reason coupled with the fact the UN body often took sides against the positions of the Israeli government, led the Trump administration to abandon it in 2018.

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