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SL, China and seven other nations concerned over UK’s human rights

By Aazam Ameen

Sri Lanka is on the list of signatories of a joint statement sponsored by China which raised concerns on the human rights situation in the United Kingdom (UK).

This joint statement which was delivered during the 47th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva was also signed by Belarus, Bolivia, North Korea (DPRK), Iran, Russia, Syria and Venezuela.

Accordingly, China expressed concerns on the human rights situation in the UK, alleging that severe systemic racism, racial discrimination, hate speech, xenophobia and related violence have long been existing in the UK, adding that such discriminatory actions are toxic residues of colonialism and trade in enslaved Africans in UK’s history.

The UK’s Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities was also accused of trying to deny the facts expressed through a number of Special Procedures.

“UK military service men have committed killings of civilians in overseas operations but are at large to this day. The UK is trying to shield them from due accountability by way of legislation,” the Chinese delegation said.

Attention was drawn to migrant detention centers in the UK, which the delegation claims are operating under poor conditions while severely violating the rights of migrants.

The UK was also accused of spreading disinformation which provoked confrontation out of political purposes, using human rights as a pretext to interfere in other countries’ internal affairs.

“Politicized acts as such have seriously undermined international human rights cooperation and are deeply concerning,” the delegation stated.

The UK government was urged to face up to its human rights problems, immediately stop all human rights violations, address the root cause of racial discrimination and hate crime, and carry out thorough and impartial investigations into cases of unlawful killings of civilians and other crimes in order to bring the perpetrators to justice and provide victims with remedies.

“We call on the Human Rights Council to look into human rights violations in the UK and take necessary steps to monitor actions of the UK government to correct its mistakes,” the Chinese delegation concluded.