Top EU Legislators Appeal Against UNHRC Candidacies of China, Cuba, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam

Appeal Against Unworthy UN Human Rights Candidacies
Excellency,
We, the undersigned members of parliament, human rights activists and non-governmental organizations, call on you to publicly oppose the candidacies of Algeria, China, Cuba, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, for seats on the United Nations Human Rights Council, elections for which will be held on November 12, 2013. We urge you to take action to defeat these manifestly unworthy candidacies, which threaten to cast a shadow upon the reputation of the Council—and of the United Nations as a whole.
Candidates for the UN Human Rights Council, according to General Assembly Resolution 60/251, are supposed to be countries that “uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights.”
Yet it is widely recognized that Algeria, China, Cuba Russia, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam fail to meet these basic membership criteria. They have poor if not abysmal records on human rights protection at home, and on human rights promotion at the UN.
Rather than giving these non-democratic governments influence over vital decision on human rights, we urge you to introduce resolutions at the United Nations to hold these nations accountable, and to condemn their gross and systematic human rights violations.
Silence is complacency. For the sake of millions of victims worldwide who need a credible and effective international human rights body, please do not be silent.
Sincerely,
Edward McMillan-Scott, MEP
European Parliament Vice-President for Human Rights & Democracy
Elmar Brok, MEP
Chair of Committee on Foreign Affairs, European Parliament
Guy Verhofstadt, MEP
Leader of Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE)
Former Prime Minister of Belgium

Baroness Deech
Member of the British House of Lords
Academic, lawyer, bioethicist, former Principal of St Anne’s College, Oxford
Baroness Ludford
Member of European Parliament, UK
Nonvoting member of the House of Lords
Honourable Irwin Cotler, MP
Member of Canadian Parliament, Liberal Party Critic for Rights & Freedoms, International Justice
Former Justice Minister & Attorney General
Emanuelis Zingeris, MP
President of the Parliamentary Forum for Democracy, Lithuania
Matyas Eörsi
Secretary General of the Parliamentary Forum for Democracy, former MP, Hungary
András Schiffer, MP
Head of Parliamentary Group, Hungary
Katalin Ertsey, MP
Vice-chair, Foreign Affairs Committee, Hungary
Frank Heinrich, MP
Deutscher Bundestag
Angelika Werthmann, MEP
Austria
Dr. Mantas Adoménas, MP
Lithuania
Michael Danby, MP
Australia
Andres Herkel, MP
Estonia
Fiona Hall, MEP
United Kingdom
Egidijus Vareikis, MP
Lithuania
Mart Nutt, MP
Estonia
Juku-Kalle Raid, MP
Estonia
Bi-khim Hsiao
Member of the Legislative Yuan, Taiwan
Hans van Baalen, MEP
Netherlands
Igor Gräzin, MP
Estonia
Hannu Takkula, MEP
Finland
Rait Maruste, MP
Estonia
Bálint Magyar
Former MP and minister of education and culture, Hungary
László Rajk
Architect, former MP, Hungary
United Nations Watch
Hillel Neuer, Executive Director
Switzerland
Human Rights Foundation
Thor Halvorssen, President
Initiatives for China
Yang Jianli, President
Council for a Community of Democracies
Robert LaGamma, President

The Gulf Institute
Ali AlAhmed
Mothers and Women against Repression, M.A.R. Por Cuba
Sylvia Iriondo, President
Viet Tan
Do Hoang Diem, Chairman
Cuban Democratic Directorate
John Suarez, International Secretary
United Towns Agency for North South Cooperation
Simonne Piazzini, Secretary General
Associated Country Women of the World
Sharon Hatten, UN Committee Chair
Gram Bharati Samiti (GBS)
Bhawani Shanker Kusum, Executive Director
India
Christian Coalition
Charles Mwape, President
Zambia
TicinoTibet
Tashi Albertini, President
Gender Empowerment and Development (GeED)
Tilder Kumichii, Programme Coordinator
Cameroon
Consorcio desarrollo y Justicia
Carlos E . Tinoco
Venezuela
Collectif Urgence Darfour
Jacky Mamou, President
France Syrie Démocratie
Bernard Schalscha, Secretary-General