TEHRAN Iran on Wednesday lashed out at the western states for playing with such noble causes and values as human rights in pursuit of political objectives, regretting that the West is practicing double-standards to use the Muslim community for a political ploy against Beijing.
Last Wednesday, 22 western states signed a letter addressed to the president of the UN Human Rights Council and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights calling on China to end alleged violation of the Uyghur Muslims' minority rights and its massive detention program in Xinjiang. In rebutal to the call, a group of 37 countries few days later submitted a similar letter in defense of China's policies, saying, Faced with the grave challenge of terrorism and extremism, China has undertaken a series of counter-terrorism and deradicalization measures in Xinjiang, including setting up vocational education and training centers.
Both letters reportedly included requests that they be recorded as documents of the Human Rights Council's just-concluded 41st Session.
Immediately noticeable is the geographic divergence between each list. The first is dominated by Western states, mostly in Europe, and the second stuffed with African and Middle Eastern nations. Importantly, the first letter does not include a single signature from a Muslim-majority state while the second features many.
This evening Iran's representative office at the UN Headquarters in Geneva issued a statement and slammed the western states for making an instrumental use of human rights once again to achieve their political ends.
"Once again, the noble objective of promotion and protection of human rights has served the political interests of a few, who traditionally regard human rights as a means in their foreign policy toolbox to exert pressure on the countries they dislike," the statement issued by Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Office and other International
Organizations in Geneva said on Wednesday.
"In this respect, the Islamic Republic of Iran strongly rejects unacceptable practice of some western countries towards China, and application of double standards and abuse of human rights under the pretext of minority situation in this country," it added.
"The fact that the exact same states routinely turn a blind eye to the gross and systematic violation of human rights, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by their closest allies against innocent populations in Yemen and Palestine reveals the true face and intention of sponsors of the letter," the statement said.
"Regrettably the casual application of such obvious double standards by them has relegated the international human rights mechanisms to political instruments that they conveniently abuse against whomever that is considered unfriendly," the statement concluded.
The competing cadres of countries lined up on opposing sides of the Xinjiang issue is revealing.
Those that signed the first letter, criticizing China, include: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK.
Signing the second letter, in defense of China's policies, were: Algeria, Angola, Bahrain, Belarus, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Comoros, Congo, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Gabon, Kuwait, Laos, Myanmar, Nigeria, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Togo, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe.
Source: Fars News Agency