Who saw the news that the United Nations Human Rights Council criticised the United States of America for its gun violence?
Probably, if you didn’t see that, you’d also be blissfully unaware that the UN Human Rights office also criticised the USA for excessive police brutality, with over 630 civilians, most of them black men already dead this year.
Or, if you missed them, did you see the UN Human Rights Council criticised the US for Racial Discrimination?
No? Well you probably didn’t see that the same Human Rights Council Office also issued a statement questioning why the US has yet to institute any form of coordinating mechanism for reporting Human Rights; unlike China which has Article 33 of its Constitution to protect citizens Human Rights.
All four of these criticisms were released just a couple of weeks ago on 22nd August 2022 but not one of them made it to my newsfeed, or probably yours!
In 2014 the UN Human Rights Committee found the USA in violation on 25 counts of human rights. What happened to all of those allegations?
Nothing. In fact, when the heat was turned up on USA Human Rights record, they took the incredible step of withdrawing and resigning from the Human Rights Council with the then US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Halley, calling the Cuncil as the UN’s “greatest failure”. Now they’re back in and, it seems pulling strings to get their own way.
My purpose here isn’t to engage in whataboutism. It’s an absolute fact, we know that the US does bad things both within its own borders and when it takes its military to other countries to fight for its “national security interests” We also know the US prevents any international scrutiny. The UN can’t investigate them, the International Criminal Court can’t touch them and nor can any judicial bodies in any of the countries where they operate. But it’s equally as indisputable that just because the US does these illegal things inside their own and other countries, that doesn’t make it ok for China to do such things in theirs, or anywhere else around the world for that matter.
Which is probably why they don’t!
For many years China had a severe terrorism problem in its most westerly region. There have been many reports of terrorist attacks and many deaths and injuries in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and this isn’t the place to discuss them, suffice to say, an inquisitive person will find plenty of evidence to support this. But it’s worse than just China. The USA had their own problems and actually held 22 Uyghurs in Guantanamo Bay for many years. Before releasing them, redefining their status as terrorists to “enemy combatant”. With some US media reports even describing them as innocent.
There’s also credible evidence, if I may borrow the UN’s own wording, to support the fact that there was CIA involvement in at least some of the training for these people. In 2017, when China’s response was still globally considered a good thing, there were, according to Reuters, as many as 5000 Chinese Uyghur’s from “China’s violence prone far western region…” fighting in Syria. At the same time, it became known, through an academic report from Carnegie Melton University that Uyghur fighters were an under-examined jihadist challenge in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and in Indonesia too. In 2015 Uyghur terrorists in Thailand are alleged to have murdered 20 people and injured 120 more. Clearly, Uyghur terrorism wasn’t and isn’t just a Chinese problem.
What our media hasn’t been telling us is as important as what it has told us; perhaps more so.
China extended an invitation to the Human Rights High Commissioner in 2018, it wasn’t the only invitation offered, in 2019, China invited a “large group” of diplomats to visit Xinjiang only 7 countries took up the invitation; just last month, 32 Islamic leaders from 30 countries visited Xinjiang, back in 2018 CGTN reported a large group of Islamic leaders visited Xinjiang.
Other aspects that are unknown to the world are other visits to China by UN Human Rights experts that we don’t see reported but, if we take a look at the UN Human Rights Council Website, we will see there have been visits. China isn’t hiding from the Human Rights Council, it isn’t hiding from Western diplomats, it certainly isn’t hiding from the Islamic world.
It’s an active participant and has opened its doors several times: in 2017 for a visit by a UN independent expert in extreme poverty; a visit by the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights for older People, in 2019 and both these visits received highly favourable reports.
China implemented laws and enacted them to allow legal incarceration of people who had reason and were likely to create problems in society but, rather than simply incarcerate them or enslave them as others do, it built safeguards so that punishment for minor offences was re-education, reward for re-education was employment. All of this was viewed by another United Nations expert, Head of Counter Terrorism, Vladimir Voronkov when he visited the region, also in 2019.
China, as it still does, worked with religious leaders in the region to help eliminate extremism, one of whom, Jume Tahir, was murdered, along with 37 others on the same morning for his moderate views by the same extremists he was working to bring back to moderacy. These same Islamic leaders, including Jume Tahir’s son have spoken out in favour of China’s actions including, in May this year, from inside Xinjiang when Islamic leaders issued a statement defending China for its action in the region.
The UN’s own press releases of late May and Mid-June, by, the now retired High Commissioner, Michelle Bachelet, were extremely positive, they spoke of ongoing cooperation between the UN High Commissioners office and Chinese authorities, she acknowledged China’s role as a key contributor to international fora, complimented China’s assistance in bringing its new power and regional leverage to assist with other tensions and for its own poverty alleviation scheme and noted it had achieved success 10 years ahead of schedule.
She expressed satisfaction with China for its steps in gender equality and protecting women’s rights as well as their new anti-domestic violence laws. She encouraged China to continue along the path it had taken for LGBTI and disabled people and praised the introduction of universal health care and unemployment insurance for all workers. None of this is mentioned in the UN report and none of this had been seen in Western media but it’s all on the UN website for all to see, if they go looking.
She described in-depth discussions and a continuing policy of review and sharing expertise. She also commended China on its stance regarding review and reductions of the death penalty but hoped it would be abolished in future and even commented on how important it was that the people of regions such as Tibet continue along the path of full recognition of their linguistic, religious and cultural identities. Again, all missing from the UN report.
Highly significant, but again, missing from both Western media AND the more recent UN report: was that she complimented China on its recent ratification of two International Labour Organisation Conventions: 29 and 105. One forbidding the use of forced labour at all and the other forbidding the use of forced labour as a form of punishment; we can be pretty sure the US won’t be signing either of those. She went on to say how she had interacted with supply chain managers and was encouraged by their embracing of human rights standards
Another thing missing from both Western media and the report published last month was this gem:
The UN HRC and China agreed to establish regular engagement through an annual senior strategic meeting.
And finally, the two (2) most important two things missing from the report have gone pretty much unmentioned by the entire global community:
the word Genocide
Michelle Bachelet’s name — she’s not mentioned as a signatory, not as a contributor, in fact, not in any way at all.
So, to conclude, the UN Security Council recognises the Uyghur group The Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) as a terrorist group. This wasn’t proposed by China, but by the USA because ETIM were closely connected to al-Qaeda; the UN approved it and was globally accepted until, in a gesture that can only be described as political grandstanding to undermine China’s efforts, Mike Pompeo on his last days in office delisted them. They’re still recognised by the UN Security Council as terrorists fortunately.
Let’s list what’s missing: All UN expert visitors to China have reported positively. China has ratified two forced labour initiatives, improved Human Rights conditions in a range of other areas for women, employees and marginalised people.
Western diplomats have been invited and visited, Islamic leaders have visited several times and found nothing to be concerned about, Islamic leaders within Xinjiang have expressed satisfaction with the Chinese response to a terrible situation and the UN Human Rights Council has not only praised China for a variety of actions in the Human Rights Sphere, but set up ongoing measurement and improvement steps.
And, not that this is of any degree of importance in the scope of all that evidence, I’ve been there several times and seen nothing of any great concern other than an enhanced security presence.
Given all of this, it seems clear that the visit of Ms. Bachelet, the initiatives she saw, spoke of and praised, and the report emanating from her office in the last few days, have some very strange contradictions.
I’m not going to speculate on why this is so, I can only highlight the contradictions; it’s up to you what you decide to think about them. However, I am of the opinion that the report Ms. Bachelet wanted and the report we actually saw released are not the same reports, she didn’t sign off on this one or release it to any press conference as would be the norm, We have to wonder, why that was and also why the report was released just 10 minutes to midnight on her last day in office; again, a strange situation indeed!