Saudi Arabia and China in Hot Seat at UN Rights Forum
2019-02-23 - 9:31 p
Bahrain Mirror (Reuters): Saudi Arabia will face criticism for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and its failure to cooperate with a U.N.-led inquiry, diplomatic sources said at the U.N. Human Rights Council's main annual session opening to be held on Monday.
Meanwhile, China is lobbying hard to thwart scrutiny of its mass detention camps for Muslim Uighurs in the Xinjiang region.
Western countries look to Turkey and other members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to shine a spotlight on what China calls re-education and training facilities. U.N. experts say the camps hold a million Uighurs, who speak a Turkic language, and other Muslims. China has rejected accusations of mistreatment.
While the 47-member Council's resolutions are not binding, all countries work hard to avoid its "naming and shaming". China is especially sensitive to criticism, which it views as interference.
Turkey, whose foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu is due to address the Geneva forum on Monday, urged China this month to close its camps, calling them a "great shame for humanity".
Activists have urged European and Muslim nations to take the lead in establishing a U.N. investigation into the detentions and what they call "forced indoctrination".
And ambassadors from some European countries plan to boycott a speech by Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza on Tuesday, as more countries back opposition leader Juan Guaido and spurn President Nicolas Maduro, they add.
U.N. rights investigators on Iran, Myanmar and North Korea are to present annual reports. Their mandates are expected to be renewed, despite the United States having quit the forum last year over a perceived anti-Israel bias, diplomats said.
A U.N. report on Israel's use of force against Palestinian protestors in Gaza last year is to be issued, while a U.N. report on a database of companies active in the Gaza Strip may be delayed again, they said.
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