Top lawmakers, rights activists, NGOs call for suspension of Russia, China, Cuba, Saudi Arabia from UNHRC

Campaign to Suspend China, Cuba, Russia and Saudi Arabia from the United Nations Human Rights Council

WHEREAS every human being is guaranteed the rights and freedoms set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1948;

WHEREAS, in contempt of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, gross and systematic violations of human rights have been and continue to be perpetrated by the governments of China, Cuba, Russia and Saudi Arabia, as documented in evidence collected by United Nations Special Procedures and Treaty Bodies, human rights experts and non-governmental organizations;

WHEREAS an essential purpose of replacing the United Nations Commission on Human Rights with the Human Rights Council was to establish a body whose members would, as stipulated in United Nations General Assembly Resolution 60/251 of 15 March 2006, uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights;

WHEREAS  Article 8 of said resolution provides that the United Nations General Assembly may suspend Human Rights Council member states that commit gross and systematic violations of human rights;

WHEREAS, acting under said Article 8, the General Assembly in 2011 suspended the Libyan regime of Col. Muammar Qaddafi from the Council on account of its gross and systematic violations of human rights;

WHEREAS the President of the General Assembly stated on that occasion that there can be neither security nor development unless human rights are respected, and that the credibility of the international community, the General Assembly, and the Human Rights Council were at stake in ensuring that fundamental rights were respected and violations were punished;

WHEREAS the President of the General Assembly further emphasized the importance of a strong Council whose members were committed to strengthening the protection and promotion of human rights by upholding the highest standards and by proscribing double standards;

NOW, THEREFORE, we, Members of Parliament and Congress, former prisoners of conscience, dissidents and human rights activists do hereby:

(a) Call upon all member states of the United Nations General Assembly to take action to suspend China, Cuba, Russia and Saudi Arabia from the United Nations Human Rights Council on account of their gross and systematic violations of human rights;

(b) Call upon all member states of the Human Rights Council to adopt a resolution recommending that the General Assembly take such action; and

(c) Call upon United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, General Assembly President John Ashe and Human Rights Council President Baudelaire Ndong Ella to speak out in support of the minimum membership standards set forth in the founding resolution of the Human Rights Council.

Edward McMillan-Scott, MEP
European Parliament Vice-President for Human Rights & Democracy

Baroness Deech
Member of the British House of Lords
Academic, lawyer, bioethicist, former Principal of St Anne’s College, Oxford

Honourable Irwin Cotler, MP
Member of Canadian Parliament, Liberal Party Critic for Rights & Freedoms, International Justice Former Justice Minister & Attorney General

Matyas Eörsi
Former MP, Hungary, former President of ALDE, Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly

William Browder
The man behind the Magnitsky Act on Russia

Damarys Moya Portieles
Cuban human rights defender

United Nations Watch
Hillel Neuer, Executive Director
Switzerland

Initiatives for China
Yang Jianli, President

The Gulf Institute
Ali AlAhmed

Viet Tan Do Hoang Diem, Chairman

Cuban Democratic Directorate
John Suarez, International Secretary

Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur
Jean Stoner, Representative at the United Nations

European Union of Public relations
Alessandro Pettenuzzo, President

Darfur Peace and Development Center

Human Rights Without Frontiers

Ligue Internationale Contre le Racisme et l’Antisémitisme (LICRA)

Stop Child Executions

Tibetan Women’s Association – Switzerland

Uyghur American Association

World Uyghur Congress

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