July 25, 2021

New pass of arms between Canada and China on human rights

On the occasion of the opening of its 47e session, the United Nations Human Rights Council was the scene, on Tuesday, June 22, of a new pass of arms between Canada and China, two countries in the midst of a diplomatic crisis since the arrest in Vancouver, in December 2018, at the request of the American justice, Meng Wanzhou, financial director of Huawei and daughter of the founder of the Chinese telecommunications company.

Canada’s Ambassador to the UN Leslie Norton read a statement signed by some 40 countries, including the United States and France, denouncing the state of human rights in China. “We are gravely concerned about the human rights situation in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, she declared. Credible reports indicate that over a million people have been arbitrarily detained in Xinjiang and that there is widespread surveillance disproportionately targeting Uighurs and members of other minorities, as well as restrictions on fundamental freedoms and freedom. Uighur culture. “

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Signatory countries ask China to donate “Immediate, meaningful and unhindered access to Xinjiang to independent observers, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights [Michelle Bachelet]. Finally, we remain deeply concerned about the deterioration of fundamental freedoms in Hong Kong under the National Security Law, and the human rights situation in Tibet ”, Leslie Norton added.

The “despicable record” of the West

This joint declaration having been awaited for several days in Geneva, where the meeting was held by videoconference, Beijing had taken care to prepare its response. Even before the Canadian ambassador took the floor, the representative of China, Jiang Duan, supported by Russia, Belarus, North Korea, Venezuela, Iran, Syria and Sri Lanka, denounced “The serious human rights violations suffered by indigenous populations in Canada”. The statement cites the recent discovery of the remains of 215 children near the former Native Residential School in Kamloops, British Columbia. China called for a “Impartial investigation into all cases in which crimes have been committed against indigenous populations, in particular against children, in order to bring those responsible to justice and to offer full reparation to the victims”.

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