German Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, on Monday called out China and Russia for persecuting dissenters and minorities, as he addressed the UN Human Rights Council.
“Our commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights leaves no room for the arbitrary detention of ethnic minorities like the Uighurs in Xinjiang or China’s crackdown on civil liberties in Hong Kong,’’ Mr Maas said.
“And we will not be silent when peaceful protesters and opposition leaders are attacked and imprisoned, as has occurred in Belarus or Russia,’’ he added, during the online meeting.
However, Mr Maas pushed back against calls from the United States and others that such countries should not have seats on the Human Rights Council.
Having a broad range of members with different views strengthens the credibility of the top UN rights body, the German minister argued.