Video: UN Watch Director interviewed by Wall Street Journal’s Mary Kissel
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MARY KISSEL, WALL STREET JOURNAL: The UN Human Rights Council just wrapped up its annual meeting. Here with the report is UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer. Let’s start with what happened here. Any major action against the world’s major human rights abusers?
NEUER: Well, there were a few resolutions. There was one resolution on Iran, Syria, and North Korea, and those were good. But the vast majority of the world’s worst abusers were not in the dock of the accused, rather they were in the seat of the judges. China, Russia, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela had no resolutions at all on their human rights record, even though we brought victims.
Our group UN Watch, with 25 other human rights groups, brought famous victims who had just suffered torture and oppression from those countries, testified in front of the Council, and there was no action at all. On the contrary, those countries are members of the Human Rights Council.
And how do they remain members?
Well, there’s an election that’s held every year, and the worst abusers get elected. They trade votes, they use other forms of “bribery,” you might say, to win over votes. So, countries like Saudi Arabia easily get 130 votes, some of these countries get up to 180 votes.
Now, there was a special rapporteur on Palestine appointed, generated some controversy, what happened there?
That’s right. Well, it’s a six-year post. It’s kind of the czar on Palestinian human rights. The job itself is peculiar. It’s the only UN expert on country situations that examines only one side. So, if Hamas, Islamic Jihad, or Fatah, commit human rights violations—which they do on a regular basis—this job by definition excludes those violations.
But the person they appointed is someone who very much likes that bias. His name is Michael Lynk, he’s a Canadian law professor, and he has spent the past 25 years advocating against Israel.
The job requires objectivity and impartiality—and the Human Rights Council completely disregarded their own rules and appointed him.
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Global Impact for Human Rights: UN Watch in the News
Iran’s poor human rights record needs continued monitoring, activists say
Los Angeles Times
March 23, 2016
Even as it is being welcomed back into the international community, Iran is continuing to violate the most basic civil and political rights of its people and needs continued monitoring, advocates who are pushing for greater freedoms in the Islamic Republic contend. Darya Safai, an Iranian women’s rights advocate who was invited to Geneva by the independent monitor UN Watch to address the Human Rights Council, said women’s rights are deteriorating by the year. “If the UN mandate to investigate Iran is not renewed — despite its ongoing widespread, gross and systematic abuses—this would only be a result of Tehran’s political influence and backroom deal-making,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch.
UNRWA’S Temeritous Tweet March 16, 2016
Despite Palestinians’ violence against Israelis in the occupied West Bank, the United Nations’ so-called humanitarian aid organization continues to fan the flames of hatred. This time it’s with a despicable tweet from the branch’s U.S. communications director. Laila Mokhiber of UNRWA recently tweeted her endorsement of ‘Israeli Apartheid Week’ according to the monitoring group UN Watch.
UN appointment of Canadian professor creates controversy March 30, 2016
The appointment of Canadian professor Michael Lynk to a delicate advisory position at the UN Human Rights Council has set off a storm of controversy on three continents. The appointment was met immediately with a barrage, led by the criticism of the Geneva-based organization UN Watch. Its executive director, Hillel Neuer, a Canadian, described Prof. Lynk as “an ardent anti-Israeli activist for at least three decades who plays a leadership role in groups that advocate against Israel, and participates in political campaigns that use demonizing language against Israelis.”
Canada’s Foreign Minister Calls On UN to Review Appointment of Anti-Israel Professor March 27, 2016
Canada’s foreign affairs minister has called on the United Nations to review the appointment of a Canadian law professor with a history of anti-Israel bias to a key United Nations job. Stephane Dion is questioning the appointment of Michael Lynk, a law professor at Western University in London, Ontario, as the UN Human Rights Council’s Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Palestine. The Geneva-based group UN Watch said the council’s choice of Lynk was “a travesty of justice.”
“Kim Jong-un is worse than his father Kim Jong-il” March 14, 2016
The 55-year-old former bodyguard of Kim Jong-il often travels around the world to talk about his life and the regime of terror in North Korea. He recently spoke at the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy, an event organized by UN Watch.
These North Korean defectors are leading calls for Kim Jong-un to face the ICC
March 15, 2016
“There is no concept of human rights in North Korea, especially for the disabled,” said Ji Seong-ho, a disabled North Korean defector who was brutalized by the regime. “I was forced to hide myself in order to not disgrace the Supreme Leader and the nation by showing my appearance.” He spoke in Geneva at a UN Watch event with other North Korean defectors and human rights activists.
Watch A Saudi Ambassador Squirm Through A Brutal Interview March 25, 2016
The UN appointed Saudi Arabia as a chair of its human rights council in September—a shocking move that wasdenounced by a major U.N. watchdog. “It’s scandalous that the UN chose a country that has beheaded more people this year than ISIS to be head of a key human rights panel,” said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer, suggesting the decision had been influenced by other factors. “Saudi Arabia has arguably the worst record in the world when it comes to religious freedom and women’s rights,” he said. “Petro-dollars and politics have trumped human rights.”
Candidate for UN’s Palestine observer compares Israel to Islamic State, watchdog says
March 11, 2016
A committee charged with reviewing candidates to replace Makarim Wibisono, who will leave the position at the end of March, has recommended Penny Green—a professor of law and globalization at Queen Mary University of London— as its first choice for the role. In response, UN Watch said it had submitted a report to the UNHRC against the ‘radical’ Green’s appointment, citing her apparent bias against Israel. The group added that the committee’s second choice, Canadian law professor Michael Lynk, “plays a leadership role in numerous Arab lobby groups, including CEPAL, which promotes ‘Annual Israeli Apartheid Week’ events; signs anti-Israel petitions; calls to prosecute Israel for alleged war crimes… and argues that ‘the solution’ to ‘the problem’ must go back to Israel’s very creation in 1948, which he calls ‘the start of ethnic cleansing.'”
Le régime nord-coréen peut s’effondrer du jour au lendemain March 16, 2016
Myeong Chul Ahn, ancien gardien de prison ayant fait défection également venu à Genève à l’invitation de l’ONG UN Watch craint la réalisation imminente d’un scénario que toutes les capitales redoutent: l’effondrement du régime du jour au lendemain.”