UN Appointment of Chinese Official to UNHRC Consultative Group Causes Uproar

The London-based China Tribunal, chaired by human rights lawyer Sir Geoffrey Nice, sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urging him to investigate the appointment of the Chinese diplomat Jiang Duan to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Consultative Group. Sir Nice wrote that Jiang’s appointment to the UNHRC raised “grave concerns” among the members of the China Tribunal that the world’s “great institutions” are unwilling to confront China with its “extreme human rights abuses,” including organ harvesting, and accused the UN of “sleepwalking into complicity.”

In March, the Tribunal declared China a “criminal state,” accusing it of directing and covering up forced organ harvesting for more than 20 years. After interviewing over 50 witnesses and analyzing 15 years’ worth of evidence, the Tribunal claimed the Chinese regime is running a $1billion-per-year transplant industry using organs obtained by unethical, amoral, and illegal means.

Although China acknowledged in 2005 that transplant organs were procured from executed prisoners, Beijing has claimed that practice ended in 2015. Meanwhile, critics have long maintained that the scope of China’s organ transplant market could not possibly be supported by executed prisoners alone, but instead, that the government meets and encourages market demand by harvesting vast numbers of organs from practitioners of Falun Gong as well as from political prisoners and minority groups such as the Uighur community in Xinjiang.

Newsweek contacted the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C. requesting comment on the China Tribunal’s allegations but received no reply.

Tony Perkins, Chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), told The Epoch Times that the appointment of Jiang to the five-member UNHRC Consultative Group was akin to the “fox guarding the henhouse.” The appointment gives China power to influence the investigation of all human rights abuses around the world.

Perkins told American Thought Leaders that the USCIRF penned a strong written objection to the U.N.’s actions that is posted on their website.

Several U.S. Senators, including John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), also wrote to Guterres condemning the U.N. appointment, “The Chinese government’s decision to deceive the international community about the grave dangers of the initial 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in Wuhan, China, violates any credibility on human rights and should disqualify them from a position on the Human Rights Council Consultative Group.”

Eighty-two organizations and associations from Central and Eastern Europe also wrote to Guterres.

A second petition, launched by Jubilee Campaign, promoted by the International Religious Freedom Roundtable, and signed by Bitter Winter raised the number to over 100 organizations protesting Jiang’s appointment.

A spokesperson for the UNHRC told The Epoch Times that members of the Consultative Group serve in a “personal capacity,” and that the group “does not have any influence over, nor can they facilitate discussions on what issues are addressed by the Human Rights Council.”

The U.N. Secretary General’s office did not respond to a request by The Epoch Times for comment.

In March, the China Tribunal determined “beyond a reasonable doubt” that hearts, lungs, kidneys, and livers have been harvested from living Falun Gong practitioners and most likely from other ethnic minorities as well.

Xiaoxu “Sean” Lin, spokesperson for the Washington-based Falun Dafa Association, told Fox News that the Chinese Communist Party controlled transplant industry “has continued to grow at a rapid pace over the past decade” and is a highly lucrative industry. He declared that the CCP will not stop “unless their crimes are fully exposed, sanctioned, and prosecuted by international communities.”

“In China, doctors could procure multiple organs for the same patient in quick succession, in case of rejection or have as spares. It is not uncommon in China for a patient to receive multiple transplants of the same organ. Furthermore, the vast array of transplantable organ types and their prices openly listed on hospital websites give the impression that any body part can be replaced as needed,” added Lin.

Neither the UN nor the WHO have investigated these allegations despite being urged to do so by many over the past decade. Instead, the WHO has praised China’s organ transplant system.

According to Chinese media, Nunez claimed, months after the China Tribunal’s final judgement was released, that China’s “organ transplant reform has achieved remarkable results in a short period. China’s experience can serve as a model for the entire Asian region and the world.”

Dr. Edward Kelley, Director of the Department of Service Provision and Security at the WHO headquarters in Switzerland, is quoted in China’s state-run press, describing China as one of the “global models in the field of organ transplantation.”

Many activists and experts have been troubled by the stance taken by both the WHO and UN regarding organ transplantation in China. Olivia Enos, senior policy analyst and Asian studies expert at The Heritage Foundation, said, “Any promises that the CCP will stop organ harvesting ring hollow. The CCP will stop at nothing to silence its critics.”

In late May, amid a mass outbreak of the novel coronavirus, the exposure of the WHO’s longstanding ties to the Chinese leadership resulted in President Trump withdrawing funding from the organization.