Today the UN will elect 14 out of 16 candidate countries to be new members of its top human rights body. UN Watch heads an international campaign of MPs and NGOs urging nations to oppose the election of Algeria, China, Cuba, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Vietnam. The other candidates are France, Macedonia, Maldives, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia, South Africa, South Sudan, Tunisia, and Uruguay. Click here for UN Watch’s comprehensive report, analysis and comment.
Following are the remarks of Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng, delivered at UN headquarters on November 4, 2013, at a press conference organized by UN Watch and the Human Right Foundation.
It is very good to be here today to discuss with all of you whether China’s authoritative powers qualify it to join the UN committee. So actually the reasons to oppose such a dictatorial power from entering the committee, and the reason to oppose this is very simple. It is something all of you will be able to understand.
If you allow such an authoritative dictatorial power to enter the committee, then isn’t it very clear that all of you will see it? The reason they want to enter into this committee is very obviously not to promote human rights, they are using this opportunity to prevent other democratic countries from questioning their human rights record.
For a country that does not even honor the UN constitution, for them to enter into this committee to judge the human rights situations in other countries, I think that this does not hold.
Beijing signed the UN Human Rights constitution in 1998 but it has not been ratified in those 15 years, so through all of this, the situation is very clear.
If the Chinese government wanted to approve this, it is very simple: they just need to stamp it. But they haven’t done so. To elect such a country to the committee, to people like us, to all of the democratic countries, to all those who uphold democracy, should analyze this situation and think very clearly.
For a country who, towards its own citizens, towards their own parents, who would use such violent ways to execute its own people, how could such a country sincerely serve other global nations? This is not possible.
For democratic countries, they should join together to set very clear standards that cannot be violated.
This morning I received a call from my hometown. There was a woman and everyday over 20 CCP officers are keeping her at home. This is not an isolated case; it is one of many. For such a dictatorial and corrupt government, they spend over 700 billion Yuan ($119 billion) every year on internal security to spy on its own people, this is unthinkable.
For such a country that violates human rights everyday, a few days ago on the 28th (of October), they set a trap. They rounded up the nation’s human rights activists, they kidnapped them in all kinds of ways and use very means to keep them under control when troubles occur. So with such hooligan ways and sham trials is how they control the citizens of the entire nation.
So on October 6th, the lawyer who defended the Falun Gong practitioners in front of the ‘610’ committee, this committee gave permission to the authorities for them to detain him. All of you should understand very clearly the ways this dictatorial power uses to control its citizens.
So what is the ‘610 company?’ The company is a special department under the Communist party that was specially set up to control the Falun Gong practitioners. In the official government system, such a department does not exist. So it is the party who has kidnapped the company, and has started all of these companies using gangster and hooligan ways to control the government.
On October 17th, someone named Soo Si-Chee, who’s right leg was crippled, was kidnapped in Beijing by National Security and stuffed into a white van, and to this day, this person’s whereabouts are unknown. A few of his friends in Beijing tried to find her, and they asked a janitor there, and this janitor said that this morning, as the he was cleaning, he heard a cry for help in the public toilet, and then saw a woman with a crippled right leg being dragged by 5 or 6 men, and stuffed into a white van. The van then drove away.
These kidnappings happen everyday, and the government pretends not to hear it, even the Wong Chee-Pak incident, which has been widely publicized, the government pretends not to hear it.
So why is this done? They are afraid that if they show that they are concerned, that more such incidents will happen. And so what should be done is for all of us to unite and move forward, not just once, but continuously. In the world of ending dictators, the Communist party would be a very hard bone to crack, so let us all crack this bone together.
Thank you very much.