Human rights abusers use UNHRC election to mask violations

FOLLOWING the October 28 election of 18 countries to the UN Human Rights Council, covered by UN Watch here, countries with serious question marks over their human rights records have been trumpeting their election to the Council, using it as a propaganda tool to silence dissent and obscure continued violation of fundamental human rights. Countries such as Burundi, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Kyrgyzstan, Togo, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela, all of which were recently elected to the UN’s top human rights body, stand in clear violation of the membership criteria laid out in the resolution which created the Human Rights Council. One such criterion is that “members elected to the Council shall uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights.”

United Arab Emirates

1. UAE Mission to the UN

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October 28, 2015, (Source)
2. The Emirates Human Rights Association
“The Emirates Human Rights Association has hailed the UAE’s winning of a second three-year term as member of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) as a show of the international community’s confidence in the country”
October 31, 2015 (Source)
Erlan Abdyldaev, Foreign Minister of Kyrgyzstan
“We consider this election as recognition of the achievements in the field of development of democracy and protection of human rights. Human Rights Council is one of the key UN councils”
October 29, 2015 (Source)
1. Nicolás Maduro, President of Venezuela
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October 28, 2015 (Source)
2. Jorge Valero, permanent representative of Venezuela to the UN in Geneva
“Most countries have recognized, with their vote, that in this historic time Venezuela fearlessly promotes and protects human rights… And it could not be any other way, since the defense of these rights is a cornerstone of our humanist revolution”
October 29, 2015, (Translated from Source)
3. Coalition of 100 grassroots organizations friendly to the Venezuelan government
“In the last 15 years, with the adoption of the Bolivarian Constitution, Venezuela has been exemplary in its advances in the promotion and protection of human rights…We consider that the re-election of Venezuela to the UNHRC is a guarantee for […] the defense of human rights of all peoples as well as a voice for the victims of war and the oppressed”
October 29, 2015

UN Watch