Shadow Foreign Secretary demands UK should oppose China’s seat at the UN for abuse of Uighur Muslims

Monday 12th October 2020 07:53 EDT

On Saturday 10th October, Shadow Foreign Secretary wrote a letter to the Foreign Secretary urging him to oppose China’s seat to the UN’s human rights body over the country’s failure to protect Uighur Muslims.

In her letter to Dominic Raab, Lisa Nandy referred to UN guidance whereby countries should “take into account the contribution of candidates to the promotion and protection of human rights” when voting for membership of the human rights council.

She wrote, “Labour is calling on the government to oppose China’s election to the UN human rights council…until such time as access is granted – and make clear to the world the reasons for doing so. In the current circumstances, China cannot be regarded as meeting the required standards. You know, as well as anyone, that international law matters and that silence in the face of such horrors will be seen by some as complicity. The UK must take this opportunity to show solidarity with the Uighur people and demonstrate that we can still be trusted to defend human rights around the world.”

She has even asserted that China’s treatment of the Uighurs “appear to share features of genocide within the meaning of the 1948 convention”.

MPs, Human Rights Watch advocates and other campaign networks have consistently called for China’s place on the council to be opposed. Elections will be held for 15 three-year terms on the council. The UK is already backing a call from an alliance of 39 countries for an independent inquiry. A resolution has been laid by Germany.

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