UN expert slammed over contribution from China

Published May 20, 2022
Professor Alena Douhan is said to have received a US$200,000 (S$275,900) contribution from Beijing in 2021. —AFP
Professor Alena Douhan is said to have received a US$200,000 (S$275,900) contribution from Beijing in 2021. —AFP

GENEVA: A watchdog said on Thursday an independent UN expert took a large payment from Beijing, alleging that she helped China “whitewash” its treatment of the Uyghur minority and demanding she return the money.

Alena Douhan, the United Nations special rapporteur focused on the negative impact of unilateral sanctions, received a $200,000-contribution from Beijing in 2021, Geneva-based rights group UN Watch said, pointing to a UN filing.

In a statement, the group called on her “to return $200,000 that she received from the Chinese state while she helped the regime whitewash its ethnic cleansing of the Uyghurs”.

Douhan, a law professor from Belarus, is an independent expert appointed by the UN Human Rights Council in March 2020. She does not speak on behalf of the UN.

Her mandate is controversial, with rights activists accusing the expert of playing into authoritarian regimes’ propaganda by blaming their countries’ woes on Western sanctions.

Published in Dawn, May 20th, 2022

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