GENEVA, March 20, 2018 – As reported now in the New York Times, the Chinese government today interrupted UN testimony (see below) by one of its most well-known former political prisoners, who took the floor on behalf of the Geneva based human rights group UN Watch, as he addressed the 47-nation Human Rights Council in Geneva. China lashed out at the end, saying in a right of reply that “NGOs and individuals with ulterior motives use this forum to fulfill their evil purposes.”
Before the speech, one of the Chinese government delegates sought to intimidate the speaker, Dr. Yang Jianli, by taking pictures of him outside the hall for more than 10 minutes. UN Watch has filed a formal complaint with UNHRC President Vojislav Šuc, demanding that the Chinese delegate—believed to be Mr. Wei Zhimin (see photo below)—be permanently expelled from the UN.
Only moments into his speech, Dr. Yang was interrupted by China, which falsely claimed that he was not properly accredited with UN Watch. In two other interruptions, China claimed that Yang was not addressing the correct topic, which was universal human rights as enshrined in the 1993 Vienna Declaration.
In 2014, as reported in the New York Times, China also spied on and intimidated a Chinese human rights defender brought by UN Watch. In 2015, Reuters reported on China’s escalating use of intimidation tactics to silence its critics at the UN.