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Ban Ki-moon praised China’s “remarkable advances”

GENEVA, October 11, 2010 – A Geneva-based human rights group welcomed today’s call by four UN experts for China to release Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo from prison, and urged Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UN rights chief Navi Pillay to echo the appeal.

“The UN’s two leading voices on human rights issues need to be clear and immediately call on China to release Mr. Liu,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch.

In their remarks published by the UN on Friday, China was praised for its “remarkable” advances, yet Mr. Ban and Ms. Pillay “glaringly omitted to call for the dissident’s release, or even to say a word about the fact that he is currently in prison,” said Neuer.

In the two years since her appointment in September 2008 as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Pillay has only issued two statements on China, including one in 2009 that dealt with Mr. Liu, said UN Watch. The non-governmental organization monitors the world body’s human rights system.

“There are 1.3 billion people in China—one sixth of the world’s population—who are subjected to the systematic deprivation of universal human rights. Beijing’s power and influence at the UN should never justify silence or reticence by the UN’s highest officials, especially those charged with being a voice for the voiceless and with defending victims of human rights violations,” said Neuer.

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