Taoiseach Agrees To Talk To Irish-Born UN Whistleblower Over China Human Rights Abuses
Following an intervention in the Dáil today by Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín TD, the Taoiseach has agreed to speak with Emma Reilly, an Irish-born Human Rights Lawyer, who was recently dismissed from her job at the United Nations.
Speaking during Taoiseach questions in the Dáil today, Deputy Tóibín said:
"Taoiseach, I see the USA are not sending officials to the Olympics due to China's Human Rights abuses. Emma Reilly was recently sacked by the United Nations. She was sacked because she blew the whistle on a practice by the UN where they exchanged with Chinese Diplomats the names of Uyghur human rights campaigners. This allegation is huge. She has the documents to prove it".
"In 2013 Emma received an email from a Chinese diplomat asking her to confirm names of Uyghurs due to speak at one of the UN's events in Geneva. She was told by her superiors in the UN that she had to confirm the names to China. We can only begin to imagine what happened next - what pressure or threats were placed on these individuals or their families so as to deter them from speaking at the event?"
"Emma Reilly has tried to speak out about these issues - with the result of armed police being sent to her door to prevent her from speaking at events. Would you speak with Ms Reilly, the whistleblower in question, Taoiseach? Will your government be sending representatives to the Winter Olympics in China".
In the Dáil the Taoiseach said that he is interested in 'getting some communications going' with Ms Reilly.
Deputy Tóibín today expressed his admiration for Emma's courage in speaking out. The Aontú leader said:
"My office spoke to Emma Reilly during the week, and I must express my admiration for what she has done in speaking out. She now lives in France and she has been severely punished for speaking out. As part of her efforts to expose what was going on she met with the Irish Ambassador to the UN, both the current ambassador and the previous one. When the government here was alerted to the issue they turned to the UN with the allegations, thus exposing Emma Reilly as a whistleblower. She was then sacked because she had exchanged information with a member state - ie Ireland.
It is most extraordinary, that an Irish-born human rights lawyer, turns to the government, turns to this island, to her home, for support in relation to such a serious issue, and her own country effectively hangs her out to dry by going straight to the person against whom she was leveling the allegation! Every time I raise an issue in relation to China with the government I'm told to keep my head down because the government knows what it's doing behind the scenes working on China. But now we see thanks to Freedom of Information documents released to Ms Reilly the extraordinary bags the government made of this particular issue. It is shameful that the government standing idly by, while forced abortions, forced sterilizations and 'thought transformation' camps, work camps, etc. are being inflicted on the Uyghur Muslim population by the Chinese government", concluded Tóibín.