Posted February 6, 2009
Human Rights

NGOs Question UN Agency's Whitewashing of China's Abuses

San Diego - The Conscience Foundation and China Aid Association today jointly issued an open letter to the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay, and member states of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), revealing that a summary report from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) had whitewashed China's human rights abuses.

To view the full text of Open Letter please click here

On February 9, 2009, the UNHRC is to review China's human rights records in its universal periodic review (UPR) procedure. Over twenty independent NGOs have submitted reports to UNHRC on China's human rights conditions. OHCHR is responsible for summarizing these NGO reports for UNHRC.

After comparing it with those original NGO reports, the Conscience Foundation found that the OHCHR's summary report excluded all complaints from NGO reports on the Chinese government's gross and systematic human rights violations against multiple victims groups, including Falun Gong, Christians, Uyghurs, Tibetans, and human rights lawyers and defenders and additionally, that the report used information from Chinese government-affiliated institutions to counter independent NGOs' criticisms of the Chinese government's human rights abuses. The Conscience Foundation's detailed analysis of OHCHR's summary report and how it effectively served to cover up China's human rights abuses can be found at here

In the open letter The Conscience Foundation and China Aid Association request that High Commissioner Pillay look into the issue it has raised and take corrective measures. They also request that UNHRC postpone the UPR of China until a fair and objective summary report can be prepared to replace the current one. They believe the issue they have raised is serious not only because it undermines the fairness of the UPR of China, but more because it threatens the credibility of the entire UPR process. As it is, OHCHR's summary report cannot serve as a fair and objective document for the UPR of China, and will render the UPR of China illegitimate.

In a separate letter on January 26, 2009, the Conscience Foundation's affiliated Falun Gong Human Rights Working Group requested the Foreign Ministry of Canada to make a proposal to UNHRC to postpone the UPR of China. Canada, India, and Nigeria are the three member states chosen by UNHRC to facilitate the UPR of China.

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