UN human rights commissioner denounces the behavior of China and Russia

AIn view of the massively deteriorating human rights situation, the UN human rights commissioner Michelle Bachelet has called on the international community to act. “In order to recover from the most far-reaching and serious cascade of human rights violations during our lifetime, we need a life-changing vision and concerted action,” said Bachelet at the start of the 47th session of the UN Human Rights Council on Monday. Specifically, she named, among other things, the situation in China, Russia and Ethiopia.

In her speech, the former Chilean president expressed concern about the “serious violations” in the Tigray region in Ethiopia, where around 350,000 people are threatened with famine.

Criticism of China’s actions in Hong Kong and Xinjiang

Bachelet referred to “extrajudicial executions, arbitrary arrests and detentions, and sexual violence against children and adults”. There are also credible reports that Eritrean soldiers are still deployed in the region. In other parts of the country where elections took place on Monday, there have been “alarming incidents” of deadly ethnic violence and displacement.

Bachelet also denounced the introduction of the so-called security law in Hong Kong, which allows authorities to crack down on any activity they believe threatens China’s national security.

The UN human rights commissioner also criticized China for treating the Uyghurs in the Xinjiang region. According to human rights organizations, at least one million Uighurs and other Muslim minorities are detained in detention camps in northwest China’s province. Bachelet referred to “reports of serious human rights violations” and urged the leadership in Beijing to allow her to visit the region.

China rejects the allegations. A spokesman for the Chinese representation in Geneva urged Bachelet to “stop making false statements against China” and not interfere in “China’s sovereignty and judicial independence”.

Bachelet also criticized the Russian leadership for recent measures that would further limit the space for dissenting political views and access to the September elections. Specifically, she named the action against the movement of the imprisoned oppositionist Alexej Navalnyj.

According to Bachelet, the judgment of a Moscow court, which classified its organization as “extremist”, is based on “vaguely defined allegations”. Russian President Vladimir Putin had banned members and supporters of “extremist” groups by law from running for parliamentary elections. “I call on Russia to uphold civil and political rights,” said Bachelet.

The session of the UN Human Rights Council lasts until July 13th. Because of the corona pandemic, it is largely taking place virtually

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