The worst human rights abusing nations set for seats on the UN’s Human Rights Council
The news that Saudi Arabia, Russia, Pakistan, Cuba and China are set to take seats on the United Nations Human Rights Council today has sent shock waves around the world. How can it be that the world’s worst abusers of human rights get to be in a perfect position to frustrate the work of the UN?
China is the world’s largest executioner of its citizens the precise numbers being a state secret. It is committing what amounts to cultural genocide with the Uighurs in Xinjiang. Around a million are incarcerated for what is claimed are programmes of re-education. Women are being forcibly sterilised. It is hard at work trying to stifle freedoms in Hong Kong. It’s activities in Tibet have drawn years of censure. Torture is common and many are held incommunicado.
Russia is another state with a dismal human rights record. Here in Salisbury we have experienced months of
disruption following the attempted murder of the Skripals. There are no free elections in the country and it looks as though there was an attempt on the life of opposition leader Navalny with Novichok. Many journalists have been murdered, simply gunned down in the street.
Freedom of association is severely restricted. Torture and mistreatment are common. Human rights defenders and NGOs are targeted. Corruption is on a massive scale aided and abetted by the City of London.
Saudi Arabia is almost in a league of its own. We have featured on these pages for many years the continuing bombing of civilians and civilian targets in Yemen and recently we have noted the disgraceful decision by the UK government to resume arms sales to the country. Torture is common, and they are one of the world’s worst executioners often in public displays of barbarity. Women’s rights are highly restricted.
These countries, under their despotic and dictatorial leaders, are simply not fit to be on a council for human rights. They have no intention of changing their laws and systems to improve matters, indeed it can be argued that all three are getting steadily worse.
The Council is supposed to ensure that all people know their rights and are treated fairly. It is supposed to ‘check what governments do to protect the rights of its people in their countries’. How it can do this with countries like this sat on the governing body is a mystery.