Testimony delivered by UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer
before the United Nations Human Rights Council, June 16, 2017
Mr. President, we take the floor to reject what has just been said by some of the world’s worst violators of human rights.
The truth is that too many members of this Council, despite their solemn pledges to uphold the highest standards of human rights, are, as we speak, holding political prisoners.
Council member Saudi Arabia gave that pledge, yet tomorrow marks five years that Raif Badawi has been imprisoned for the crime of being a blogger who called for a free society. Why is this Council silent?
Council member China gave that pledge, yet it imprisons medical doctor Wang Binzhang for the crime of devoting his life to founding the Chinese overseas democracy movement. Why is this Council silent?
Council member Venezuela gave that pledge, and yet it imprisons Leopoldo Lopez, for the crime of being a democracy leader. Why is this Council silent?
Council member Cuba gave that pledge, yet it imprisons Dr. Eduardo Cardet, leader of the Christian Liberation Movement, after he publicly stated: “Fidel Castro was a very controversial man, very much hated and rejected by our people.” Amnesty International just issued an urgent action for Dr. Cardet, whom it has declared a prisoner of conscience. Why is this Council silent?
Likewise, council members Burundi, Egypt, Iraq, Qatar and United Arab Emirates are also guilty of gross and systematic human rights abuses.
Mr. President, when will the United Nations live up to its responsibilities under Resolution 60/251 and remove these violators from its Human Rights Council?