Wed, 05 Aug 2020

Washington DC [US], April 8 (ANI): Seven US Senators have written to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres opposing the appointment of Jiang Duan, Minister of Chinese Mission in Geneva to the UN Human Rights Council Consultative Group and said that China should not occupy the position of prestige or influence on the Council while it engages "in human rights violations of the worst kind both at home and abroad".

In the two-page letter written on April 6, the senators have pointed to "wilful deceit and gross negligence of COVID-19 outbreak" by China and said it is guilty of "widespread and well-documented cases of human rights abuse targeting the Uyghur Muslim community in Xinjiang province".

The letter, signed by US Senators - John Cornyn, Ted Cruz, James M Inhofe, Martha McSally, Kevin Cramer, Marco Rubio, Marsha Blackburn - calls upon the UN Secretary-General to intervene by suspending Jiang's appointment to the UN Human Rights Consultative Group.

It also implores all member states to condemn in strongest terms "the human rights violations" committed by the Chinese Communist Party.

"We write to express our profound disappointment and opposition to the appointment of Jiang Duan, Minister of Chinese Mission in Geneva to the UN Human Rights Council Consultative Group. As you know in this position, Jiang will provide China with the opportunity to play a central role in picking at least 17 human rights investigators, including those who look at freedom of speech, enforced disappearance, and arbitrary detention, rights abuses which the Chinese regime routinely perpetrates, the letter said.

It said that the Chinese government's decision to "deceive the international community about the grave dangers of initial 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in Wuhan" violates any credibility on human rights and "should disqualify them from a position on human rights council consultative group".

"Through intimidation of its medical first-responders, censorship of online forums and threats of severe punishment for anyone who dared to speak out with the truth, the Chinese Communist Party engaged in its most egregious human rights abuse: the unchecked spread of a new and dangerous virus on an unwitting global population. Chinese government actions in the early days of the outbreak are not commensurate to influencing a council responsible for upholding human rights throughout the world. Even now, China withholds critical information about the spread and the death toll of the virus and continues to silence and intimidate its critics," the letter said.

"In addition to its wilful deceit and gross negligence of COVID-19 outbreak, China is guilty of widespread and well-documented cases of human rights abuse targeting the Uyghur Muslim community in Xinjiang province," it added.

The senators said that over one million Chinese Uyghurs sit in so-called re-education camps against their will, "in what can only be described as ethnic cleansing on an industrial scale and millions more are treated as second-class citizens in their own country at the hands of the regime in Beijing".

"It is tragic such terrible crime against humanity can be committed by a power wanting to be seen as a responsible international actor, even more egregious such behaviour can be rewarded," the senators said.

They said the UN was created following the most devastating conflict humanity had ever endured and to safeguard against repeating the most awful crimes ever perpetrated.

"We must expect more from its leadership and from its member states. China should not occupy a position of prestige or influence on the UN Human Rights Council while it engages in human rights violations of the worst kind both at home and abroad. We implore you to intervene on behalf of our shared values of freedom and dignity by suspending Jiang's appointment to the UN Human Rights Consultative Group, and to implore all member states to condemn in strongest terms the human rights violations committed by the Chinese Communist Party," they said. (ANI)

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