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Rights body ‘a weaponised tool of powerful Western nations’

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Picture: High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk delivers a press conference at the UN Offices in Geneva on December 9, 2022. The new OHCHR chief Turk has vowed to continue pursuing the Chinese government for its alleged human rights abuses of Uighurs, says Mustafa Mheta.

By Mustafa Mheta

The new United Nations Human Rights chief Volker Turk has vowed to continue pursuing the Chinese government on its alleged human rights abuses of the Uighurs, which were raised by his predecessor Michelle Bachelet, before her retirement. We are not against any investigation by the UN Human Rights body per se, but against the level the UN body has allowed itself to be used as a willing tool by Western superpowers in the Security Council.

China has not refused to be investigated by the UN body but until it’s proved guilty, it cannot be declared guilty. At the same time, we recall the numerous similar or even worse human rights violations that have been committed by the same powers that seek to condemn China. The lives of non-white minorities in the US are worse than we are told.

This is not only confined to China, it’s true with regard to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Iran, Zimbabwe, Mali, Venezuela and any other country that does not tow the official Western imperialist line.

The black community in the US is subjected to systemic racism and faces blatant open violence perpetrated by the white police force. Blacks are hunted and killed like game on a daily basis by this country’s security apparatus, and it ends up ignored and is not even reported in the mainstream media. Space here will not allow us to document all similar human rights violations in the US and (which) is much worse in their declared war zones like Iraq, Syria, and many others.

It is clear the US and its Nato allies in the EU, are using the human rights accusations on China as a tool against China given the rivalry between them. The UN Human Rights Commission must be mindful of being used as a pawn and should focus on the many other hot spots dotted across the world where many violations occur on a daily basis. It goes without saying that in the US itself, other political ideologies other than the official two parties, the Republicans and Democrats, no other political formations are allowed.

Socialism, and Marxist and Communist parties remain banned in the US. Any attempt to politically organise on any of the above-mentioned platforms is met with some ridicule, demonisation, and even jail terms. Is that democracy? Shouldn’t democracy be actually allowing other voices to be heard as well?

Why not focus on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where the Rwandan supported M23 movement is massacring people, and causing untold sufferings on the people of this great country? Recently, there has been discovery of mass graves and it is believed that over 300 people have been massacred in that part of the world. No one in the West will talk let alone intervene in the DRC simply because most of them are involved in raping and looting the country.

It is this inaction by organisations such as the United Nations Human Rights Commission’s failure to investigate and prescribe punishment on these would be offenders that led to the victims of the war in Goma to picket against it last week. People are tired of the display of double standards even by institutions that are supposed to be protecting them.

That there are serious allegations of human rights abuses in Xijiang is not in dispute. It obviously relates to the cries by the Uighurs for an end to oppression, but to expect the US and its allies to wield the proverbial ‘big stick’ of the type that’s resulted in death and destruction across the Muslim world, is ironic.

Dr Mustafa Mheta is a Senior researcher/Head of Africa Desk at Media Review Network SA and Dean: School of Languages at Somali National University (SNU) Mogadishu