Asia

ICJ moves UNHCR against China for Covid-19 reparations

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CHENNAI: The International Council of Jurists (ICJ), headquartered in London, has moved the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR) seeking unspecified amount as reparations from China for having caused “serious physical, psychological, economic and social harm” to member-nations by unleashing Covid-19 on the world.
The ICJ wanted the UNHCR to inquire and direct the government of the Peoples Republic of China and to “adequately compensate the international community and member-states, particularly India, for surreptitiously developing a biological weapon capable of mass destruction of mankind throughout world and also for serious physical, psychological, economic and social harm caused to these states due to the inaction and negligence to respect the international obligations.”
Levelling accusations ranging from inaction and negligence to “surreptitiously developing a biological weapon capable of mass destruction of mankind throughout world” against China, the ICJ said China had violated provisions of International Health Regulations (IHR), International Human Rights and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Laws and UDHR clauses.
Narrating as to how the pandemic started unfolding on December 1, 2019, and how Chinese authorities were on denial mode till January 2020, the ICJ petition filed by its president and senior advocate Adish C Aggarwala said: “On January 23, 2020, nearly two months after the first case of the virus was reported, Chinese authorities announced their 'first steps for a quarantine of Wuhan.' By this time, a significant number of Chinese citizens had travelled abroad as asymptomatic, oblivious carriers".
The Chinese government had deliberately censored information and hidden the early warnings given by Dr Li Wenliang, who was, in fact, reprimanded and initially punished by local authorities in China, he said, adding: “The Chinese government also did not sufficiently contain and curb the travel of infected persons from further contaminating the world.”
Aggarwala further claimed that the virus was developed in the Wuhan Virology Lab from where it was carefully deployed to affect a miniscule 0.001% of the Chinese population, thereafter, through meticulous planting of “infected” persons around the world, the virus has reached every nook and corner of the planet, affecting health, industries and more importantly, the worlds economy.
China, by its constant censorship and hiding of relevant information from the public as well as the WHO, clearly violated the provisions of Articles 6 and 7 of the IHR, Aggarwala said, potion out that public authorities are mandated to notify the WHO about the existence of a disease of public and international concern within 24 hours of assessment of public health information. “Here, the Chinese government provided partial information about the novel coronavirus only on February 14, 2020, after the virus had affected more than 2,000 people and killed about 50,” he said.
Citing Article 25(1) of UNDHR, Aggarwalas petition said states should refrain from denying or limiting access to health-care services; from marketing unsafe drugs; from imposing discriminatory practices relating to health status and needs; from limiting, withholding, censoring or misrepresenting health information; and from infringing on the basic human rights of people recognised under UDHR.
Aggarwala justified his present petition sayiRead More – Source

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