Amid the Pandemic, United Nations Human Rights Council has elected China along with Russia and Cuba to the official body for the promotion and protection of human rights around the world. However, the officials from the western world and Human Rights defenders from other nations called this as 'Black day for Human Rights'.
Reports say that the Human Rights Council had a long history of including members with checkered records. In an official statement made by Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of States said: "UN General Assembly has once again elected countries with abhorrent Human Rights Records". He further added that the winning of seats by China, Russia and Cuba to UNHRC shows a win for tyrants and embarrassment for the global body".
The elections to UNHRC was held on this Tuesday in which they elected 15 members to the 47-nation council. The seats are officially allotted based on regional groups. When China, Russia, Cuba, Nepal, Pakistan, Uzbekistan wins the seat, Saudi Arabia failed in securing official recognition in UNHRC. The Human Rights activists across the world claim that the newly elected members have a history of abysmal Human Rights record. Holding a secret ballot voting in 193 membered UN General Assembly, China won 139 seats, Pakistan 169 votes and Nepal 150 votes, in fact, Saudi Arabia lost its seat by having 90 votes.
Mike Pompeo said in a tweet that "The US identified and punished Human Rights abusers in Xinjiang, Iran, Myanmar and elsewhere. The election of China, Russia and Cuba to UNHRC validates the US decision to withdraw from the council in 2018 and use other venues to promote and protect human right".
"Newly elected countries with their poor Human rights record have raised a prominent doubt on whether UNHRC is losing its relevance in protecting human rights. It also questions the legitimacy of the institution. We are living in a time when the performance of such multilateral International governmental organisations being questioned, whether WHO and its role in preventing the pandemic and now UNHRC. The purpose and aim with which the UNHRC came into existence in 2006 are now going to be intensively questioned. Particularly, by the USA, which has already withdrawn itself from the body in 2018 and has expressed serious reservation on the election of China and Russia". Sayoni Choudhury Patra, International Relation Analyst and Assistant Professor at Loreto College Kolkata shared her opinion with Madhyamam.
She further adds, "The realist understanding is -Chinese economy has given it such strength that it can politically and diplomatically bypass accusation of human rights violations. The western lobby has criticized China but doesn't impose sanctions in any form, unlike the small countries".
China has a history of Human rights violation, we can cite Tiananmen Square from recent history, now it's Xinjiang and Hong Kong protests brutal repression. Uyghurs are the Muslim minority ethnic group in China. Around 11 million Uyghurs are in Chinese Xinjiang. The region is under Chinese control ever since 1949. Reports claim that the Chinese government is suppressing the ethnic group by expanding the detention camps.