African National Congress condemns US withdrawal from UN Human Rights Council

23 Jun 2018
South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), has condemned the decision of the United States government to withdraw from the UN Human Rights Council and in the same vein declared that  its criticism of the Israeli policies against Palestine should not be used as an  excuse for hate speech against Jewish people.
The ANC statement comes after the US announced its withdrawal from the United Nations Human Rights Council early this week. The US Ambassador  to the UN Nikki Haley cited amongst other reasons what she characterised as the council’s “chronic bias against Israel.”

Haley called the council “not worthy of its name” and said its failed to reform. She decried the membership of countries like China, Cuba and Venezuela that are themselves accused of human rights violations.

In a statement issued yesterday the ANC said it notes with concern the decision of the United States government to withdraw from the UN Human Rights Commission.

“This came against the backdrop of criticism of the United States policy of inhuman treatment of migrant children, forcefully separating them from their parents.  We share the pain of the affected families and children, because of our experience in South Africa before the dawn of democracy wherein thousands of children were separated from their parents and detained under state of emergency regulations by the brutal apartheid regime.
“The ANC applauds the decision of the US administration to reverse this barbaric policy and we call on the US government to reconsider its withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Commission and urge it to stay the course of advancing the universal human rights.”
The ANC statement added that the organisation’s attention has also been drawn to recent acts of blatant anti-Semitism by fellow South Africans on social media and graffiti on walls. ” This is clearly against the spirit and letter of our Constitution and Bill of Rights, which discourages hate speech, against any group, based on race, religion, gender, creed or sexual orientation.
“Our disagreement and abhorrence of the violence and human rights meted against the Palestinian people by the State of Israel, at no stage should be used as an excuse for hate speech against Jewish or any other people.”

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