PRESS RELEASE

UN Watch condemns “tyrants’ subversion of UN human rights system”

GENEVA, April 26, 2013 – Today’s UN quadrennial review of Canada’s human rights record quickly turned into a spectacle of hypocrisy and farce when the North Korean regime of Kim Jong-un took the floor to accuse the country of “torture and other ill-treatment,” China, Cuba and Pakistan bewailed Canada’s “racism,” and Russia deplored “torture and cruelty against peaceful protesters.” (See full quotes below).

Human rights groups said the outbursts harmed the credibility of the UN.

“The UN squandered a golden opportunity to contribute to the promotion and protection of human rights in Canada,” said Hillel Neuer, a Canadian-born lawyer who directs the non-governmental human rights organization UN Watch.

The continued subversion of the UN human rights system — whereby thugs, murderers and rapists purport to judge the human rights record of a liberal democracy — undermines the founding principles and credibility of the United Nations,” said Neuer.

“It’s the foxes guarding the chickens, with the world’s worst tyrannies abusing a legitimate process to satisfy narrow-minded political agendas, and to attack a leading Western democracy in order to deflect attention from their own sordid practices.”

Neuer commended the minority of democracies who engaged constructively by making genuine recommendations for concrete improvements.

QUOTES FROM TODAY’S UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL REVIEW OF CANADA

Iran: We are “concerned on violations of human rights by Canadian government… particularly with regard to child sexual exploitation and trafficking, the right to food, discriminatory law and regulation against indigenous people and minority groups including Muslim and African communities.”

China: “We are concerned by the wide-spread racial discrimination in Canada.”

Cuba: There is “racism and xenophobia” in Canada.

North Korea: “We have serious concerns about continued violation of the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, torture and other ill-treatment, racism and xenophobia.”

Egypt: “We are alarmed by several instances of racial profiling in law-enforcement action and racial discrimination in employment.”

Pakistan: “The increased poverty and unemployment rate among immigrant communities is a manifestation of racial discrimination.”

Russia: “Human rights defenders are alarmed by police actions of torture and cruelty against peaceful demonstrators.”

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