Geneva: In his final address made to the UN Human Rights Council’s 38th session on 18 June, Prince Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, rebuked China for not allowing his staffs “unfettered access” to China, including Tibet and Xinjiang, where the human rights situation is worsening.
Despite efforts by the Office of the High Commissioner to establish conditions essential for an effective dialogue, the high commissioner complained that his staff has not been given “unfettered access to the country, including to the Tibetan Autonomous Region and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, where the human rights situation is reportedly fast deteriorating”.
In the last five years, since 2014, China has “accumulated more than 15 pending requests for visits”, the statement further added. Only two mandate holders were allowed to visit China.
Expressing his dismay over China’s continued efforts to curb civil societies from engaging with international human rights mechanisms, including UN Treaty Body reviews, Universal Periodic Review and mandate-holders, the High Commissioner exhorted China to “allow all actors” to take part in the international human rights mechanisms, and “cooperate with them in a spirit of open and mutual partnership in order to improve respect for the rights and freedoms” of all people in China.
Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, whose term is ending this year said that at this point in time, “fearlessness” is required to defend human rights, He appealed to all his colleagues and like-minded “to do more”, “to speak louder and work harder for the common purpose and for universal human rights law” in order to achieve lasting global peace.
– Report filed by UN, EU & Human Rights Desk, DIIR –