Alan Gross: Castro's prisoner
We run various sites in defense of human rights and need support to pay for more powerful servers. Thank you.
Recent Comments

    Top EU Lawmakers Urge Own Governments to Oppose China, Russia, Cuba, Saudi in UN Rights Council Educ

    Top EU Lawmakers Urge Own Governments to Oppose China, Russia, Cuba,
    Saudi in UN Rights Council Educ
    By UN Watch (Bio and Archives) Thursday, November 7, 2013

    GENEVA, – Top European lawmakers today called on their own governments
    to oppose China, Russia, Cuba, Saudi Arabia and other “manifestly
    unworthy” countries running in next Tuesday’s election of 14 new member
    states to the UN’s 47-nation human rights council. See text below.

    According to an exclusive report today by UN Watch, Jordan has pulled
    out of the race, which means that Asian group candidates China, Saudi
    Arabia and Vietnam no longer face any competition.

    Today’s open appeal, organized by the Geneva-based human rights group UN
    Watch, was sent today by an international coalition of 30 MPs and human
    rights activists to all EU governments, as well as to EU foreign affairs
    commissioner Catherine Ashton.

    Signatories include European Parliament Vice-President Edward
    McMillan-Scott, Elmar Brok, Chair of the European Parliament Committee
    on Foreign Affairs, and former Belgian prime minister Guy Verhofstadt,
    who now heads the European Parliament’s Alliance of Liberals and
    Democrats for Europe (ALDE) party.

    Other legislators joining the appeal include Baroness Deech of the
    British House of Lords, Baroness Ludford of the European Parliament,
    Canadian MP and former justice minister Irwin Cotler, and Emanuelis
    Zingeris, Lithuanian MP and head of the global Parliamentary Forum for

    Diplomats had predicted some difficulty for the Saudi bid, with UN
    delegates still upset over Riyadh’s surprise rejection of its Security
    Council seat. Now with a closed slate, however, the Saudis are almost
    assured of winning a seat on the world body that holds primary
    responsibility over issues such as women’s rights and religious freedom.

    As part of the opposition campaign, UN Watch together with Human Rights
    Foundation organized a press conference this past Monday at UN
    headquarters in New York, where they presented a comprehensive report
    detailing why no less than 12 of 16 candidates fail to meet the UN’s own
    basic criteria for membership on the human rights council.

    UN Watch and Human Rights Foundation brought famous dissidents to
    testify at UN headquarters this past Monday, November 4th, before a
    gathering of diplomats, activists and journalists. Left to right:
    Chinese dissident Yang Jianli, Cuban dissident Rosa Maria Paya, Saudi
    dissident Ali Al-Ahmed, UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer,
    Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng, HRF president Thor Halvorssen, and
    Russian dissident Masha Gessen.

    The NGO event also featured passionate appeals from some of the world’s
    most famous human rights dissidents, including blind activist Chen
    Guangcheng from China, Rosa Maria Paya of Cuba, Ali Al-Ahmed of Saudi
    Arabia, and Masha Gessen of Russia. (Click here for quotes from the
    event; and click here for the speech of Chinese dissident Yang Jianli.)

    In anticipation of the Nov. 12 elections, UN Watch executive director
    Hillel Neuer warns: “If the UN enables gross abusers to act as champions
    and global judges of human rights, it will be an insult to the political
    prisoners and other victims of those regimes. When the UN’s highest
    human rights body becomes a case of the foxes guarding the henhouse, the
    world’s victims suffer.

    “China, Cuba, Russia, and Saudi Arabia systematically violate the human
    rights of their own citizens,” said Neuer, “and they consistently vote
    the wrong way on UN initiatives to protect the human rights of others.”

    “For the UN to elect Saudi Arabia as a world judge on human rights would
    be like making a pyromaniac the fire chief,” said Neuer.


    Appeal Against UNHRC Candidacies of Algeria, China,
    Cuba, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam

    As sent to all UN member states, 7 November 2013.


    We, the undersigned members of parliament, human rights activists and
    non-governmental organizations, call on you to publicly oppose the
    candidacies of Algeria, China, Cuba, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, for
    seats on the United Nations Human Rights Council, elections for which
    will be held on November 12, 2013.

    We urge you to take action to defeat these manifestly unworthy
    candidacies, which threaten to cast a shadow upon the reputation of the
    Council—and of the United Nations as a whole.

    Candidates for the UN Human Rights Council, according to General
    Assembly Resolution 60/251, are supposed to be countries that “uphold
    the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights.”

    Yet it is widely recognized that Algeria, China, Cuba Russia, Saudi
    Arabia and Vietnam fail to meet these basic membership criteria. They
    have poor if not abysmal records on human rights protection at home, and
    on human rights promotion at the UN.

    Rather than giving these non-democratic governments influence over vital
    decision on human rights, we urge you to introduce resolutions at the
    United Nations to hold these nations accountable, and to condemn their
    gross and systematic human rights violations.

    Silence is complacency. For the sake of millions of victims worldwide
    who need a credible and effective international human rights body,
    please do not be silent.


    Edward McMillan-Scott, MEP
    European Parliament Vice-President for Human Rights & Democracy

    Elmar Brok, MEP
    Chair of Committee on Foreign Affairs, European Parliament

    Guy Verhofstadt, MEP
    Leader of Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE)

    Former Prime Minister of Belgium
    Baroness Deech

    Member of the British House of Lords
    Academic, lawyer, bioethicist, former Principal of St Anne’s College, Oxford

    Baroness Ludford
    Member of European Parliament, UK

    Honourable Irwin Cotler, MP
    Member of Canadian Parliament, Liberal Party Critic for Rights &
    Freedoms, International Justice
    Former Justice Minister & Attorney General

    Emanuelis Zingeris, MP
    President of the Parliamentary Forum for Democracy, Lithuania

    Matyas Eörsi
    Secretary General of the Parliamentary Forum for Democracy, former MP,

    Dr. Mantas Adoménas, MP

    Michael Danby, MP

    Egidijus Vareikis, MP

    Bi-khim Hsiao
    Member of the Legislative Yuan, Taiwan

    Hans van Baalen
    Member of the European Parliament, Netherlands

    Hannu Takkula
    Member of European Parliament, Finland

    United Nations Watch
    Hillel Neuer, Executive Director

    Human Rights Foundation
    Thor Halvorssen, President

    Initiatives for China
    Yang Jianli, President

    Council for a Community of Democracies
    Robert LaGamma, President

    The Gulf Institute
    Ali AlAhmed

    Mothers and Women against Repression, M.A.R. Por Cuba
    Sylvia Iriondo, President

    Viet Tan
    Do Hoang Diem, Chairman

    Source: “Top EU Lawmakers Urge Own Governments to Oppose China, Russia,
    Cuba, Saudi in UN Rights Council Educ” –