Russia claims the UN Human Rights Council – which houses China, Cuba and Qatar – will lose ‘trust’ without it

Russia’s government, pending a vote to expel it on Thursday, complained that its possible exit from the United Nations Human Rights Council would “discredit” the body and dent public “trust” in it, despite some of ” the world’s worst human rights abusers remain in the Council despite Russia’s impeachment.

The General Assembly, the United Nations’ largest entity, is voting Thursday to suspend Russia’s position on the Human Rights Council in response to the ongoing war against Ukraine, in which Ukrainian officials have accused Moscow of a variety of human rights violations against civilians. The Russian government has not denied that the crimes took place, but claims that Ukrainian fighters committed them as a “hoax” to stage “false flag” operations against Russia.

Should Russia leave the Human Rights Council, the world’s worst human rights abusers would still be represented on the Council with the presence of, among others, China, Cuba, Venezuela, Qatar, Eritrea, Libya and Pakistan. The United Nations has unconditionally accepted these nations into the Council, and the General Assembly has not scheduled a vote on their expulsion at press time.

“If the resolution is passed, Westerners will be able to freely impose on the rest of the countries the concepts and vision of human rights that please them and their Western accomplices,” the Russian permanent representative to the UN office and others international organizations in Geneva Gennady Gatilov said in comments to the Russian news agency Tass on Wednesday.

“The suspension of Russia’s rights as a member of the Human Rights Council will discredit the principle of the Council’s universality, damage its effectiveness and completely undermine confidence not only in the Human Rights Council, but throughout the UN human rights system.” said Gatilov. claimed.

Russian Ambassador Gennady Gatilov leaves for a pause during an urgent debate on the Ukraine conflict at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on March 3, 2022. (FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty)

The Russian UN representative expressed pride at derailing the Human Rights Council’s goal of protecting human rights around the world in the name of fighting American values.

“It was our country that, during the years of the Human Rights Council’s existence, resisted attempts by the EU and the United States to use human rights to interfere in the internal affairs of sovereign states,” Tass quoted Gatilov as saying.

Those opposed to Russia’s place in the Council will need two-thirds of countries in the General Assembly on Thursday to vote to impeach Moscow.

“Western diplomats are confident they have enough support from the 193-member General Assembly to pass a resolution to suspend Moscow,” Reuters predicted.

Russia’s departure would still leave a long list of some of the world’s most prominent human rights abusers in the Council, most notably China – arguably the world’s most blatant abuser, as it is currently engaged in genocide against Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in the occupied region of East Turkistan. The Chinese Communist Party is said to have forced as many as three million Muslim minorities into concentration camps since 2017, where survivors say they have undergone indoctrination, beatings, sleep deprivation, gang rape, slavery and medical tests suggesting organ harvesting. Outside the camps, extensive research has shown that the government is selling Uyghurs as slaves to factories online and is encouraging companies to replace legitimate workers with Uyghur slaves.

China also regularly suppresses members of religious and spiritual groups who worship outside the borders of Communist Party-led sects, including Christians, Tibetan Buddhists and Falun Gong practitioners.

A study by researchers at the Australian National University (ANU) published this week found extensive evidence that Chinese officials have ordered surgeons to kill prisoners — many likely political prisoners — by cutting out their hearts and other vital organs, in order to kill them with a high profit to sell .

Ukrainian refugees arrive at Haneda Airport in Tokyo, Japan on April 5, 2022. Twenty Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war that enveloped their country after Russia’s invasion more than a month ago have been granted asylum in Japan by Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi during his recent trip to Poland. (Carl Court/Getty Images)

Other main human rights abusers in the Human Rights Council are key Latin American allies Cuba and Venezuela. Cuba’s government is a 63-year-old communist, family-run criminal enterprise that has used its ties to Russia and China to train its ruthless state police to silence, torture and kill political dissidents. In Venezuela, the Cuban state apparatus has helped socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro stay in power through similar violence and has imposed poverty on citizens.

Libya, which represents Africa on the Human Rights Council, has become one of the world’s most vibrant slave markets in the wake of President Barack Obama’s decision to support the ouster of dictator Muammar Gaddafi. The East African state of Eritrea was charged this year with “war crimes, possible crimes against humanity and other serious violations against Tigray civilians during the ongoing conflict in the Tigray region of Ethiopia”. The Prime Minister of Ethiopia accused of genocide against the Tigray people, Abiy Ahmed, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019.

The US State Department collected evidence in 2020 against Benin, another member of the Human Rights Council, for “unlawful or arbitrary killings, including extrajudicial killings; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; severe restrictions on press freedom and unjustified arrests and prosecutions of journalists; lack of research into and accountability for violence against women; and child labour.”

Pakistan, also a member of the Council, is led by an Islamist – Prime Minister Imran Khan – who has praised al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden as a “martyr” and has used his platform at the UN to demand global blasphemy laws to target dissidents of Islam anywhere in the world.

Qatar, which represents the Middle East on the Council, has faced accusations of using slaves to build facilities for the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup for years, among other claims of human rights atrocities.

President Donald Trump has removed America from the Human Rights Council during his term in office in protest at the atrocities regularly committed by its members. His successor Joe Biden returned to America in 2021.

“We are trying to return to the Human Rights Council to stand shoulder to shoulder with our allies and partners to ensure that this important body delivers on its purpose,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at the time. “We do this with a determination to listen, learn and work for a world where human rights are universally respected.”

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