On Wednesday despite its litany of reported human rights abuses, Communist China was appointed to a United Nations Human Rights Council panel called the Consultative Group, a panel that will choose some of the U.N.’s human rights investigators. The Consultative Group has only five members who help select at least 17 UN human rights mandate-holders who investigate, watch over and publicly report on violations, as UN Watch reports.
The United Nations writes of the selection and appointment process for independent United Nations experts of the Human Rights Council:
Independent United Nations experts of the Human Rights Council are appointed through a competitive and transparent process which involves an online written application in response to a call for candidatures issued by the Secretariat. Shortlisted candidates are then interviewed by telephone by the Consultative Group composed by five Ambassadors nominated by each of the five regional groups. The Consultative Group makes recommendations to the President of the Human Rights Council through its public report. The appointment is finalized when the selected candidate put forward by the President is approved by the Human Rights Council.
Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, which monitors the UN Human Rights Council and has championed the rights of victims in China, stated, “Allowing China’s oppressive and inhumane regime to choose the world investigators on freedom of speech, arbitrary detention and enforced disappearances is like making a pyromaniac into the town fire chief. 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.”
Human Rights Watch reported in 2018:
In October, Meng Hongwei, then-president of Interpol, the international police organization, and China’s vice minister for Public Security, disappeared upon return to China and was assumed to be held in “liuzhi.” … Authorities dramatically stepped up repression and systematic abuses against the 13 million Turkic Muslims, including Uyghurs and ethnic Kazakhs, in China’s northwestern Xinjiang region. Authorities have carried out mass arbitrary detention, torture, and mistreatment of some of them in various detention facilities, and increasingly imposed pervasive controls on daily life. New regulations in Tibet now criminalize even traditional forms of social action, including community mediation by religious figures. In Hong Kong, a region promised “a high degree of autonomy” under the Sino-British Joint Declaration, the Chinese and Hong Kong governments hastened their efforts in 2018 to undermine people’s rights to free speech and political participation.
Repression conducted under the guise of “anti-separatism” or “counter-terrorism” remained particularly severe in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (Xinjiang) and Tibetan-populated areas (Tibet). Authorities subjected Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic groups in Xinjiang to intrusive surveillance, arbitrary detention and forced indoctrination. From early 2017, after the Xinjiang government had enacted a regulation enforcing so-called “de-extremification”, an estimated up to one million Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other ethnic minority people were sent to internment camps.Police detained human rights defenders outside formal detention facilities, sometimes incommunicado, for long periods, which posed additional risk of torture and other ill-treatment to the detainees.
No joke: #China joins U.N. Human Rights Council panel, where it will help select the U.N.'s next world monitors on freedom of speech, enforced disappearances & arbitrary detention—and on health. That's like making a pyromaniac into the town fire chief. https://t.co/DqFY90rd6I
— Hillel Neuer (@HillelNeuer) April 3, 2020