With China, Russia, Pakistan, etc. being elected to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), the organization took another step for enhancing its reputation. Let us take a look at the human rights issues of the elected as well as the nominated nations.
Crux of the Matter
Elected And Nominees
Russia, China, Pakistan, Cuba, Uzbekistan and Nepal were recently elected to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Board, where Saudi Arabia was also among the nominees. The mentioned nations have been elected for a 3 year term starting from January 2021.
An NGO named UN Watch compared the situation to “making a gang of arsonists into the fire brigade”.
Following are the notable ‘Human Rights achievements‘ of the mentioned nations:
- More than 1 million Uighur Muslims are held in detention camps in Xinjiang.
- Cases of forced labour, forced sterilization and organ harvesting have been reported in Xinjiang.
- Recently imposed Security Law in Hong Kong to curb dissent and reportedly uses forced labour in Tibet.
- Alexei Navalny, a critic of Putin, was recently poisoned allegedly by Russia agents.
- Several opposition leaders and journalists have been killed in recent years.
- Annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.
- Saudi Arabia executed a record 184 people in 2019 as per Human rights group ‘Reprieve’.
- Limb amputations have been used as punishment, and flogging was used as a punishment method till April 2020.
- Women need a male guardian’s permission to marry or file a lawsuit.
- Several activists and journalists have been imprisoned or have ‘disappeared’. Most notable recent case is of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed at the Saudi Consulate in Turkey in 2018 by Saudi agents.
- Forced conversions: More than 1,000 Christian and Hindu girls are forced to convert to Islam and marry Muslim men per year as per the Movement for Solidarity and Peace (MSP) report.
- Death penalty for blasphemy (insult to Islam). More than 40 people are on a death row for blasphemy as per the recent Human Rights Watch report.\
- Faisal Khan, a 15-year-old boy, recently shot dead an American citizen accused of blasphemy inside a Court in Pakistan. The case went viral after Police guards reportedly clicked a selfie with Faisal in admiration.
- Several Balochistan activists have been abducted and disappeared in recent years. Around 1,000 Baloch activists and separatists have been killed between 2011 and 2016 alone. Balochistan is a resource-rich region, but most of its resources are diverted to the Chinese controlled Gwadar port. As of 2017, 90% of the Balochistan population lives without clean drinking water.
Read about the unusual nominees of Nobel Prize Peace Award 2020 here: Unusual Nominees Of Nobel Peace Prize 2020
- The World Food Programme is the food-assistance branch of the UN and the world’s largest humanitarian organization focused on hunger and food security. The World Food Programme launched its first programmes in 1963 through the Food and Agriculture Organization and the UN General Assembly on a three-year experimental basis, supporting the Nubian population.
- Leopold II was the second King of the Belgians and the owner & absolute ruler of the Congo Free State from 1865 to 1909. Leopold’s administration of the Congo was characterised by atrocities, including torture and murder, resulting from notorious systematic brutality. Modern estimates range from 1 million to 15 million deaths.
- Genocide is the intentional action to destroy a people—usually defined as an ethnic, national, racial, or religious group—in whole or in part. A term coined by Raphael Lemkin in his 1944 book “Axis Rule in Occupied Europe”.
- Livemint – Donald Trump, US president, nominated for Nobel Peace Prize 2021
- G Plus – Russian President Vladimir Putin Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
- UN Watch – Report: China, Russia, Cuba, Saudi Arabia & Pakistan to win top U.N. human rights posts
- The Hindu – China and Russia win seats on U.N. rights council, Saudis lose
- The Print – China is illegally harvesting Uyghurs organs but the Muslim world is still silent
- Al Jazeera – Saudi Arabia executed 184 people in 2019: Rights group
- Firstpost – ‘Holy warrior’ selfies: Pakistan teen feted for killing U.S. blasphemy suspect
- Forbes – Yet Another Girl In Pakistan Abducted, Forcibly Converted And Forcibly ‘Married’ To Her Abductor