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The UN has flatly denied the allegations. Emma Reilly alleges she was shifted from her position at the UN’s Human Rights Office after she spoke out and described a process where UN officials sent names of individuals from Hong Kong, Tibet, and Xinjiang to Chinese diplomats via email request. The human rights lawyer told Express.co.uk the potential consequences of handing over the details of human rights witnesses could result in imprisonment, torture, and death for family members in China.
The UN whistle-blower reports that a long list of activists names were allegedly handed over.
Two of the activists have allowed their story to be told, the rest wish to remain anonymous, these activists were not just Chinese citizens but nationals from the USA, Canada, US, Australia, Germany, Sweden, Norway, and Switzerland.
Human rights lawyer Emma Reilly described a UN official from the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) sanctioning an email to inform China in advance that the wife of detained civil rights lawyer would be attending a UN meeting, this email was sent promptly, “within four hours” of Beijing’s demand.
Ms Reilly added: “The UN is seen as the last great hope that principles matter and human rights actually exist.
“The people that go to the UN Human Rights Council know the risks they are taking, to a degree, but what they don’t expect is that the UN is going to betray them.”
Ms Reilly described the reported process of handing over names to Beijing at the UN as, “what China wants, China gets” and that when other countries have applied for information about individuals attending sessions of the Human Rights Council their requests have been denied.
From the email trail provided by Ms Reilly it can be seen that the Chinese diplomats wrote that a “security concern” was the reason for requesting the names of the individuals.
But Ms Reilly claims that the release of names via emails was explicitly not an official procedure of the United Nations.
Explaining the official procedure she said: “The member states of the UN set written rules saying you cannot give confidential information on human rights witnesses to state governments.
“There is a precise rule that says, if a member state wants to know who is coming to give testimony at the human rights commission, they have to ask this request in front of all of the other member states and a collective decision should then be made via the secretariat to decide whether it is safe to hand over that information.
Ms Reilly claims “This was not done here, and that it is ongoing”
Ms Reilly added: “This was the exact opposite of what the UN Human Rights Council was set up to do.”
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She alleges that the very individuals within the UN Human Rights Council who aided Beijing certain officials were promoted in due course.
Ms Reilly said: “Those involved in covering-up and providing lists of names to China have been promoted.
“They are all still there, some of them are even in charge of NGOs.
“The post that I used to occupy when I reported it is now occupied by someone who saw what was happening and chose to do nothing.
“The actual official who handed over the names to the Chinese is still in his post”.
The human rights lawyer claims an ethics decision at the heart of the EU’s administrative mechanism sees protecting the political relationship with China as overruling the safeguarding of human rights witnesses.
The UN has antagonised China in the past by requesting access to the “re-education camps” in Xinjiang.
But this alleged duplicity of purpose at the heart of the organisation is troubling and points to a deterioration of integrity and compromises to placate political agendas.
However, Ms Reilly stresses that “the UN deeply needs to exist, but that it needs to not put the people it is meant to be protecting in life-threatening danger”.
UK taxpayers gave an estimated £200 million to the UN in a two year period.
This may seem at first to be a large amount, but the amount of food aid, protection of the environment, and conflict resolution that the organisation achieves per year dwarfs its problems.
The claims made in this article by the human rights lawyer and UN employee Ms Reilly were sent to the Chinese mission to the UN in Geneva and to the office of the high commissioner for human rights at the United Nations, to date no reply has been made about the allegations.
Although a spokesperson for the UN has previously said the allegations of sending names of activists to China was a “distortion.”
Rolando Gomez, a spokesman for the UN Human Rights Council at OHCHR, told Fox News: “I hope to put this distortion, I would say, to rest.
“Under no circumstances the Office of the High Commissioner divulged names of human rights defenders coming to the council.”
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