Fact Check: Activists Did NOT Turn Their Backs On US Ambassador Because Of Israel Bombing Gaza


  • Автор: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: Activists Did NOT Turn Their Backs On US Ambassador Because Of Israel Bombing Gaza Other Concern

Did participants of a meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Committee turn their backs on U.S. ambassador Michele Taylor as a protest against Israel's bombing of Gaza in late 2023? No, that's not true: The meeting had no relation to the current Hamas-Israel conflict; the activists faced away because they were not satisfied with Taylor's response concerning human rights issues.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) on TikTok by vladimirovnaza on October 19, 2023. The text overlay (translated from Russian to English by Lead Stories staff) read:

At the UN Human Rights Committee some members demonstratively turned their back during the U.S. Ambassador Michele Taylor's speech. This is a protest against Gaza bombing by Israel.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-10-31 at 12.24.35 PM.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Tue Oct 31 07:56:21 2023 UTC)

The U.S. ambassador delivered a closing speech on October 18, 2023, in Geneva in the context of the U.S. presentation to the Human Rights Committee regarding the U.S. review under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The silent protest followed Taylor's statement that the U.S. commitment to the convention was "a moral imperative at the very heart of our democracy" and that the U.S. "leads by example through our transparency, our openness, and our humble approach to our own Human Rights challenges."

The activists said, according to the Center for Constitutional Rights that "it was a spontaneous silent protest motivated by deep frustration and outrage over inadequate, canned responses from the U.S. delegation." One organization member who had petitioned the UN said, "We chose to turn our backs on the U.S. as they have turned their backs on the state repression of Black, Indigenous, people of the global majority, LGBTQIA+ human rights, and the issue of Death by Incarceration."

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