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與香港人權監察 Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor 就聯合國人權理事會任命中國為諮商小組一員發表聲明

2020/4/10 — 8:56

(Please scroll down for English version)

  1. SOS和人權監察(下稱「我們」)昨天收到聯合國人權理事會 (Human Rights Council) 主席發出的信件(署名日期為昨天,即 2020 年 4 月 9 日),表明理事會正在尋覓人選出任四個專職報告員的職務,邀請非政府組織協助廣傳訊息,鼓勵不同背景的人士提出申請。四個職務空缺(其中兩個涉及原有專家續任)包括:
    a. 危險物質及廢料的無害環境管理和處置對人權的影響問題特別報告員;
    b. 人人有權享有能達到的最高標準身心健康問題特別報告員;
    c. 促進和保護意見和表達自由權問題特別報告員(續任);和
    d. 販運婦女和兒童問題特別報告員(續任)。
  2. 我們亦留意到中國於 2020 年 4 月 1 日被亞洲地區國家推舉為聯合國人權理事會 (Human Rights Council) 屬下諮商小組 (Consultative Group) 的一員,參與甄選獨立人權專家的候選人,以出任理事會為監察不同範疇人權而設的專職人權報告員和工作小組。這些職務亦包括上述四個特別報告員。我們關注到第一和第三個職務的現任特別報告員曾就香港的示威活動以強烈字眼致函中國政府表達重大的關注。
  3. 就不同範疇的人權,聯合國人權理事會不時設立專責的特別報告員或專門工作小組,去關注、監察、調查研究和跟進相關範疇的人權。這些報告員和小組成員的甄選工作,首先由一個五人諮商小組負責,人選經它面試和審議後排出優次,以便向聯合國人權理事會主席提交一分名單,列出最適合各個專職空缺要求的候選人。理事會主席經諮詢後再將名單交人權理事會議決任命。諮商小組建議的人選,一般都會得到理事會通過接納,所以小組在人事任命上有甚大的影響力。
  4. 我們明白到聯合國人權理事會的諮商小組,為一五人小組,除中國外尚有另外四名國家代表參與,而對中國的任命並不等於賦予中國包辦聯合國人權理事會人事任命的工作,亦非由中國制定挑選獨立專家的條件與資格。但即使如此,人權紀錄惡劣的中國仍然不應肩負如此重要的人事角色。
  5. 中國出任諮商小組的成員,意味著中國在挑選聯合國不同範疇人權的獨立專家過程中,會很有大影響力,其範疇包括但不限於言論自由、健康、被失蹤,以及任意拘禁。
  6. 因此,我們極度關注是次推舉中國的安排是否恰妥;此舉實質上將大幅增加中國共產黨在聯合國人權事務上人事任命的話事權,便利中共阻止堅守普世人權價值和敢言的人選出任或連任有關的專門職位,甚至方便中國安插其屬意的人選,而且亦會讓中共更容易向在任的人權報告員和專門小組施予壓力,干預全球人權事務的監察工作。
  7. 中國大陸人權紀錄甚差,鎮壓人權並無一刻止息,惡名昭彰、劣跡斑斑,而且將侵權延伸至香港。僅以言論自由為例,中共一直無間斷壓縮大陸甚至香港的言論空間,甚至令維權人士以至香港政經書局經營者「被失蹤」或是對他們進行任意拘留,此乃無從抵賴的鐵一般事實。又如發生於 2015 年、針對維權律師的「709 大抓捕」一事中,至今仍然有人下落不明或被非法軟禁。此外,亦有部份香港 2019 年的社運參與者在北上大陸時,經歷過中國政府的無故「行政拘留」。現時,香港當局更連番打擊香港電台,以政治凌駕專業,侵犯港台的編輯自主,連提問求真的採訪都受到干預打壓。
  8. 我們認為單單就著中國得以位列諮商小組的一員已是極不恰當,恐怕會引致聯合國人權理事會的可信程度下降,不單影響聯合國人權理事會的職能,尤其是與其他維權人士和人權組織的合作,更損害理事會的公信力和形象。
  9. 就著此事, SOS 已去信聯合國人權事務高級專員辦事處,以表達嚴重關注。
  10. 我們懇請聯合國人權理事會仔細考慮對中國的任命以及日後諮商小組的建議,以免危及人權理事會的職能和聲望。

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【SOS and the Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor’s Joint statement on China becoming a member of the Consultative Group under the UN Human Rights Council】

  1. The Sounds of the Silenced (“SOS”) and the Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor (hereinafter collectively referred to as “We”) received yesterday (9 April 2020 ) from the President of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations a letter dated 9 April 2020 stating that the UNHRC is looking for candidates and making appeal to NGOs for encouraging application by persons of diverse backgrounds for the following 4 vacancies (2 of which concerning renewal of term by current incumbents), namely:
    a. Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes;
    b. Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health;
    c. Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression (renewal of term); and
    d. Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children (renewal of term).
  2. We are aware that China has been appointed to the Consultative Group under the United Nations Human Rights Council (“UNHRC”) on 1 April 2020. The appointment means that China will play a role in selecting the human rights expert candidates who shall work on the monitoring of different human rights thematic areas and participate in working groups, including the 4 positions mentioned above. We recall that the current incumbents of the offices of the first and third Special Rapporteurs above have written strongly worded letters to the Chinese government to express grave concerns on protest related issues in Hong Kong.
  3. We understand that, from time to time and for different human rights thematic areas, the UNHRC would appoint the responsible Special Rapporteurs or Working Groups to pay attention to, monitor, investigate and follow up on the thematic or geographic areas concerned. The selection of these Rapporteurs and members of the Working Groups would first be carried by the five-member Consultative Group, the members of which shall conduct interviews and reviews in order to rank the candidates, then submit to the Chairperson of the UNHRC a list setting out the best candidate for each of the vacancies. Upon consultation, the Chairperson of the UNHRC will then submit the list to a session of the UNHRC for formal commissioning. The recommendations from the Consultative Group would normally be admitted, thus such a Consultative Group has great influence over the personnel appointment in the aforesaid context.
  4. We understand that the Consultative Group still consists of four other members and that the appointment of China does not entitle China to commission personnel directly nor does it determine the basic criteria or qualifications for the process of candidate selection. Having said that, China should not be entrusted with this significant responsibility given its notorious records in human rights.
  5. The fact that China is going to take part in the Consultative Group means that it will play a crucial role in selecting the world body’s human rights investigators, including but not limited to the global monitors on freedom of speech, health, enforced disappearances, and arbitrary detention.
  6. Therefore, we are deeply concerned over the appropriateness of such appointment which gives the Chinese Communist leaders a key influence on the personnel matters of the human rights work in the United Nations. Such an appointment would effectively facilitate China to ban those who speak up and defend the universal values of human rights from being selected or renewed for holding the mandates of such offices, or it would even open a floodgate for China to provide placements for their like-minded cronies. It would also further allow China to exert pressure and influence on the incumbent Special Rapporteurs and Working Groups in the monitoring work on global human rights affairs.
  7. It is a blatant fact that China has a very negative record of gross human rights violations. Worse still, the suppression of human rights has not only been going on in Mainland China but has also been occurring in Hong Kong in recent times. For example, the Chinese Communist leaders have been ceaselessly stifling the freedom of speech in the mainland and Hong Kong. It has even conducted forced disappearances of mainland human rights defenders and also the Hong Kong bookstore owners who sold “sensitive books” on Chinese politics. In addition, since the “709 Crackdown” which targeted human rights lawyers in 2015, there are still some people who went missing or illegitimately confined. In addition, it is reported that some participants in the 2019 Hong Kong protests had been put under arbitrary “administrative detention” by the Chinese authorities when they travelled to mainland China. Meanwhile, the Hong Kong authorities have continued its endeavours to attack the Radio Television Hong Kong (“RTHK”) by interfering in its editorial independence and sidelining professional journalism for political ends that even the right to ask questions in the quest for truth by RTHK journalists has been called into question.
  8. We are of the view that it is very inappropriate to have China appointed as a member of the Consultative Group. This would only damage the credibility, hinder the functions of the UNHRC and seriously jeopardize its working relations with human rights activists and NGOs.
  9. We have already addressed the aforesaid issues to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (“OHCHR”) in the hope of expressing our grave concerns to the authority.
  10. We hereby respectfully invite the UNHRC to carefully reconsider the China appointment and all future recommendations from the Consultative Group, so as not to jeopardise the impartiality and respected reputation which it has sought to build up.
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