China (along with Russia, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Algeria, and Cuba) won a seat on the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday because, at this point, just fuck it. The new UNHRC’s board looks like a BuzzFeed list of human rights offenders, and/or a list of countries where freedoms of speech, expression, and dissent would go to die.
For whatever reason, people really enjoy using metaphors to talk about this new development at the UN, as South China Morning Post has been kind enough to show:
Human Rights Watch noted that five of the new council members — China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and Algeria — have refused to let U.N. investigators visit to check alleged abuses. China, Russia and Algeria have 10 or more unfulfilled requests for visits by U.N. experts, some dating back to 2000 […]
“Countries that haven’t allowed U.N. experts appointed by the council to visit have a lot of explaining to do,” said Peggy Hicks, global advocacy director of the New York-based non-government group. “It’s like hiring someone, then not allowing them to enter the office.” […]
“China, Cuba, Russia, and Saudi Arabia systematically violate the human rights of their own citizens, and they consistently vote the wrong way on U.N. initiatives to protect the human rights of others,” said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer. “For the U.N. to elect Saudi Arabia as a world judge on human rights would be like a town making a pyromaniac into chief of the fire department.
Electing China to the UNHRC is, presumably, also like:
- A town making a kleptomaniac into shoplifting guard
- A village making an obsessive-compulsive into chief of doing things only once
- A quasi-reputable international organization tossing its credibility away to appease a rising economic power, even though its economics have developed at the expense, or at least the neglect, of its human rights situation
- A hamlet making a tall guy wear a little hat