The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, said that the world is witnessing the worst “series of human rights setbacks of our time,” referring to the situation in Ethiopia, Russia and China in particular.
At the start of the 47th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday, Bachelet said that “to recover from the broadest and most severe series of human rights setbacks of our time, we need a life-changing vision and coordinated action.”
Bachelet also expressed her concern about continued reports of “serious violations” in the Ethiopian region of Tigray by all parties to the conflict, including the continued violations of the Eritrean forces.
“I am deeply concerned about the continuing reports of serious violations of international humanitarian law, flagrant violations of human rights and violations against civilians by all parties to the conflict,” Bachelet said, noting “extrajudicial executions, arbitrary arrests and detentions, sexual violence against children as well as adults, and forced displacement.”
The commissioner expressed “dissatisfaction” with the Kremlin’s steps aimed at undermining the right to express opposition views and participate in the upcoming Russian elections.
“I resent recent measures that further undermine people’s right to express dissenting views and their ability to participate in the parliamentary elections scheduled for next September,” she said, calling on Moscow to preserve political and civil rights and abide by international standards.
Bachelet expressed her hope that she will finally be able to visit China’s Xinjiang region this year, and be given “meaningful access” amid “reports of serious human rights violations”.
It also expressed concern about the “terrifying effect” of the national security law imposed in Hong Kong a year ago.