By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, Oct 13: Beijing expressed its dismay and accused the United Nations human rights chief of breaching the aims and principles of the United Nations charter as the latter spoke at the 2016 Martin Ennals Award ceremony for imprisoned Uighur economics professor Ilham Tohti.
Zeid Raád Al Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for human rights, spoke at the award ceremony on Wednesday where rights groups honored Ilham Tohti, the jailed Uighur academic who is serving a life sentence in Chinese prison since September 2014 on charges of separatism.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang accused the UN human rights chief of supporting separatist and ignoring the facts, according to a swissinfo.ch report on Oct 12.
“This is a serious breach of the aims and principles and United Nations charter. It is an interference in China’s internal affairs,” the report further quoted Geng as saying at a daily news briefing in Beijing.
Worse still, Geng dismissed the award calling Tothi, 2016 human rights defenders awardee, a criminal.
“Internationally, there are always certain forces who ignore the crimes committed against Chinese people by individual terrorists. They rack their brains to put them in the coat of human rights. This is to blaspheme against and mock human rights and the rule of law,” the report further quoted Geng.
Barred by the Chinese Communist regime to publish books, Tohti, a member of the Turkic-speaking Muslim Uighur ethnic group, took to the internet and ran a site, Uyghurbiz.net to promote discussion about the economic, social and developmental issues faced by Uighurs.
The Communist regime, in a bid to strengthen their case against Tohti, also arrested seven of his students. They were accused of forming a group to ‘split Xinjiang’ from China.
He was adjudged the winner of 2016 Martin Ennals Award for human rights defenders by a group of leading human rights organizations.