Archive for the 'China' Category
The Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy took place on March 13, 2012, organized by UN Watch and an international coalition of 20 NGOs. The Summit, which ran in parallel to the main session of the U.N. Human Rights Council, produced alternative draft resolutions for the Council to consider. These deal with urgent human rights situaitons that have so far been ignored by the international community. These are:
- Draft resolution of the situation of human rights in the Russian Federation
- Draft resolution of the situation of human rights in Cuba
- Draft resolution of the situation of human rights in Pakistan
- Draft resolution of the situation of human rights in Saudi Arabia
- Draft resolution of the situation of human rights in Venezuela
- Draft resolution of the situation of human rights in Vietnam
- Draft resolution of the situation of human rights in China
In an operation aimed at countering “violent terrorists,” Chinese government authorities killed seven “kidnappers” who were trying to leave the country to attend “foreign jihad camps” – but had stopped along the way to take two hostages.
That’s the official Chinese backstory – presented at a press conference this week – to a Dec. 28 shootout in the restive province of Xinjiang, where indigenous Muslim Uyghurs are struggling to preserve their culture in the face of a still-rising presence of Han Chinese.
Uyghur exiles give a different account of the shootout, which also left one police officer dead. They say police opened fire when locals clashed with officers during a demonstration outside the police bureau to protest a recent security crackdown.
Branding Uyghurs as “terrorists” when they’re involved in clashes with China’s authorities fits a pattern that Rebiya Kadeer, a prominent Uyghur businesswoman and human rights activist, outlined in detail when she spoke at UN Watch’s “We Have a Dream” human rights summit in New York in September. Continue reading ‘China-Uyghur Clash: UN Watch Summit Speech Prescient’
UN Watch Testimony to UN Human Rights Council, Agenda Item 3, delivered by Alexia Bedat, 15 September 2011
Thank you, Madam President.
Under Articles 2, 5 and 7 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, women are guaranteed equal treatment under the law and protection from degrading treatment. Today we ask: Is this promise being translated into practice?
To find the answer, we must see reality from the perspective of real women on the ground. Let us consider three concrete examples:
1. China. According to a panel of experts including US Congressman Chris Smith, as a result of the “One child policy,” every 2.4 seconds a woman in China undergoes a forced abortion. Xiao Ai Ying is one of these women. Last year, eight months into her pregnancy, twelve government officials broke into her home, brutally kicked her in the stomach and dragged her screaming to the hospital. Madam President, isn’t China a member of this Council, and therefore pledged to the highest standards of human rights? Continue reading ‘Rights of Women in China, Saudi Arabia and Iran’
This op-ed about jailed Chinese dissident Dr. Wang Binghzhang—written by Cambridge University law student Gabriel Latner, a recent intern with UN Watch—appears in today’s National Post of Canada. In March, UN Watch and its partners brought Dr. Wang’s daughter, 21-year-old McGill University student Ti-Anna Wang, to testify at the 2011 Geneva Summit: click for video. A week later, UN Watch, represented by Mr. Latner, raised the case of Dr. Wang in the plenary of the UN Human Rights Council. The Chinese government tried to silence UN Watch: click for video. Mr. Latner is already known to many for his winning speech from the October 21, 2010 Cambridge Union debate—”Why Israel is a rogue state”—which went viral on the internet.
GENEVA, March 15 – The Chinese government today interrupted testimony by one of its most well-known former political prisoners in the plenary of the UN Human Rights Council. The Chinese delegate, supported by Cuba, objected that Dr. Yang Jianli, who spoke on behalf of the Geneva human rights group UN Watch, was not addressing the issue under debate, which was “human rights situations that require the council’s attention.”
The U.S. delegate intervened to defend Dr. Yang’s right to speak, and the council president allowed him to complete his speech. See full text below of print version as delivered to the UN. Continue reading ‘China interrupts UN testimony of ex-political prisoner; USA defends Yang Jianli’
GENEVA, December 9, 2010 – An international coalition of 24 human rights and non-governmental organizations appealed today to U.N. rights chief Navi Pillay to reverse her decision to skip Friday’s Nobel award ceremony for imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.
“We urge the High Commissioner to go to Oslo, attend the award ceremony, and convene a press conference that will spotlight the plight of the 1.3 billion Chinese citizens who are systematically denied the basic guarantees of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” said the statement.
Led by the Geneva-based rights group UN Watch, the signatories include the World Movement for Democracy from the U.S., SOS Racisme of France, and activist organizations from India, Venezuela and Liberia.
“The world spotlight in Oslo tomorrow will be exceptional — it’s a golden opportunity that the U.N. should not squander,” said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer. Continue reading ’24 NGOs Urge U.N. Rights Chief to Attend Oslo Nobel Ceremony and Show Support for Chinese Dissident’
The undersigned human rights and non-governmental organizations pay tribute to jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo on his being selected to receive the Nobel Peace Prize award.
We regret that, as claimed by China, 18 nations are supporting its boycott of the award ceremony tomorrow in Oslo. We fully reject China’s attempt to describe this courageous champion of human rights as “subversive and criminal,” and its denunciation of the award as an “obscenity”. On the contrary, no award could be more fitting on international Human Rights Day.
We further regret to learn that the Norwegian Nobel Committee confirmed that U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has also declined to attend, as reported by Radio Australia.
We urge the High Commissioner to go to Oslo, attend the award ceremony, and convene a press conference that will spotlight the plight of the 1.3 billion Chinese citizens who are systematically denied the basic guarantees of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
GENEVA, December 6, 2010 – A Geneva-based human rights group urged U.N. rights chief Navi Pillay to “do the right thing” and reverse her decision to skip Friday’s Nobel award ceremony for imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, saying that the Oslo event took “clear precedence” over a minor Geneva ceremony that her office claims requires her presence.
“Because High Commissioner Pillay is the U.N.’s highest authority on human rights, her presence in Oslo would send a powerful signal that the systematic violation of basic rights suffered by 1.3 billion citizens of China-one sixth of the world’s population-is not forgotten by the world. Beijing’s powerful U.N. influence should never justify silence or reticence by the world body’s highest officials,” said Hillel Neuer, an international lawyer and executive director of UN Watch, a non-governmental organization in Geneva that monitors the world body’s human rights system.
British MP Denis MacShane has endorsed UN Watch’s campaign calling on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to press China to release political prisoner Liu Xiaobo.
Mr. MacShane has also tabled his own motion in the House of Commons, issuing the following statement:
“David Cameron should support President Obama’s appeal to Beijing to release China’s Sakharov. William Hague has said that trade relations should have priority for UK foreign policy but it cannot be right to buy cheap t-shirts from China while ignoring Liu Xiabow rotting in prison for the crime of signing an appeal for constitutional democract. In the name of trade and money Britain has turned a blind eye to the repression of Chinese citizens asking for rights we take for granted. Mrs Thatcher was willing to condemn Soviet communism for imprisoning dissidents like Sakharov. Mr Cameron should now tell it as it is about Chinese communism and its suppression of its citizens who challenge one-party rule.”
Ban Ki-moon praised China’s “remarkable advances”
GENEVA, October 11, 2010 – A Geneva-based human rights group welcomed today’s call by four UN experts for China to release Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo from prison, and urged Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UN rights chief Navi Pillay to echo the appeal.
“The UN’s two leading voices on human rights issues need to be clear and immediately call on China to release Mr. Liu,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch.
In their remarks published by the UN on Friday, China was praised for its “remarkable” advances, yet Mr. Ban and Ms. Pillay “glaringly omitted to call for the dissident’s release, or even to say a word about the fact that he is currently in prison,” said Neuer.
In the two years since her appointment in September 2008 as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Pillay has only issued two statements on China, including one in 2009 that dealt with Mr. Liu, said UN Watch. The non-governmental organization monitors the world body’s human rights system.
“There are 1.3 billion people in China-one sixth of the world’s population-who are subjected to the systematic deprivation of universal human rights. Beijing’s power and influence at the UN should never justify silence or reticence by the UN’s highest officials, especially those charged with being a voice for the voiceless and with defending victims of human rights violations,” said Neuer.�
Geneva, July 22 - An international coalition of 38 human rights groups called on the United Nations today to investigate allegations that the Chinese government committed gross human rights violations by forcibly evicting 18,000 families to make way for the current 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, China. The giant exposition, whose motto is “Better Cities, Better Life,” runs until October.
The non-governmental organizations filed appeals with U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon, U.N. Habitat director Anna Tibaijuka, and U.N. housing rights investigator Raquel Rolnik, arguing that China breached four articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by violating housing rights and denying evictees the right to protest. Criticism of the land grab was reported recently in the New York Times and the Washington Times. Continue reading ’38 Rights Groups Urge U.N. to Investigate Shanghai Expo Eviction of 18,000 Families’
UN Watch’s revelation yesterday that U.N. rights chief Navi Pillay is effectively refusing to meet with the Dalai Lama on his visit to Geneva next week is now sparking international attention. Continue reading ‘Ban Ki-Moon asked why U.N. won’t meet Dalai Lama in Geneva’
But welcomes Pillay’s criticism of China’s “systemic violations of human rights”
GENEVA, July 29, 2009 - The Geneva-based human rights group UN Watch expressed disappointment at the refusal by United Nations rights chief Navi Pillay to answer whether she will receive the Dalai Lama on his visit to Geneva next week — understood as a negative answer — but welcomed her criticism of China’s “serious systemic violations of human rights” in Tibet, and her call for due process for detainees and access to international observers. Continue reading ‘UN Watch Disappointed at U.N. Rights Chief Refusal to Meet Dalai Lama’
Today at the U.N. Human Rights Council, after a number of states and NGOs accused Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Zimbabwe, China, and North Korea of violating human rights, these countries demanded their rights of reply to respond to allegations or deflect blame by pointing to purported abuses of their critics. Continue reading ‘Rights Violating States Attempt Response to Accusations’