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UN provided China with advance information on activists, alleges whistleblower

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Emma Reilly
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Emma Reilly

A former employee of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has come forward with allegations that the office "secretly provided China with advance information (about families)" of activists attending the Human Rights Council meetings.

Speaking to NDTV, Emma Reilly revealed that the information was part of a publicly acknowledged policy.

Reilly further claimed that top UN officials, including Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and two former Presidents of the General Assembly, had received bribes. These payments were made during extended negotiations for Sustainable Development Goals, and the officials had significant influence over the final texts.

Additionally, China reportedly set a "secret conditionality across UN agencies" stipulating that the bribes should not be spent in states with diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

According to Reilly, delegates whose names were leaked to China faced severe repercussions.

She stated, "In cases where China was provided with names, the delegates have reported family members were visited by Chinese police...arbitrarily arrested (and) placed under house arrest for the period of the meeting... sentenced to long prison terms without cause, tortured, or, as regards Uyghurs, put in concentration camps."

She also alleged instances where family members died in detention or where an individual on China's list returned from attending a side event only to be later detained and die, reported NDTV.

"Some of them (whose details were leaked without consent) gave evidence in my court case... as to what happened to their families after their names were handed over," Reilly added.

Expressing her concerns, Reilly emphasized that "The United Nations should be denouncing this... not facilitating it." She revealed that she was terminated from her position "uniquely for speaking out about this policy." However, she clarified that she was never accused of lying.

Reilly, who was employed with the UN for a decade, began raising concerns in 2013 about the influence of the Chinese Communist Party on the UN Secretariat.

She stated, "I was employed at the UN rights office, where you'd expect human rights would be the primary goal. But, in reality, the office was secretly transmitting names of people about to speak out against the Chinese government."

She further claimed that this practice began in 2006 and continues to this day, as acknowledged by the UN in court.

Her efforts to expose these practices faced internal resistance due to a UN policy that prohibits employees from criticizing agency policy, even if it amounts to "criminal complicity in torture... criminal complicity in arbitrary detention." The UK Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee has published written evidence supporting her claims, describing them as alleging a "UN cover-up of special favours for China."

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TAGS:ChinaEmma ReillyUN. UN Whistleblower
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