September 10, 2020, 06.10 PM

Fundamental threat

They also pointed to allegations China was suppressing academic freedom in countries worldwide, and decried "the racist treatment of people in China, or by Chinese state actors in other parts of the world".

And they charged that Beijing was working to "distort the mandate of the UN Human Rights Council ... (by) opposing initiatives to bring scrutiny of serious rights violations and international crimes in countries around the world".

"A state that tries to hold itself above any kind of scrutiny presents a fundamental threat to human rights," the letter warned.

Read also: US Imposes Trade Sanctions on Chinese Companies as Muslim Abuse Complaints Heat Up

Sarah Brooks of the International Service for Human Rights, which also signed Wednesday's letter, meanwhile stressed in the joint statement "China's disdain for human rights no longer affects only its citizens".

"Its support for dictators and efforts to rewrite international standards are making the work of defending human rights harder than ever."

When asked about the letter, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian said the "claims made by these organizations are groundless and not worth refuting".

Wednesday's letter called on the Human Rights Council to host a special session to evaluate China's rights violations, and urged it to establish an "impartial and independent UN mechanism to closely monitor, analyze and report annually on the topic". 

(Writer: NL/WDB, Agence France-Presse)

Source: http://u.afp.com/3E5x 

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