Russia’s Ouster From UN Rights Council is ‘Turning Point’
GENEVA, April 6, 2022 — The independent non-governmental human rights group UN Watch, which spearheaded the campaign (see below) to remove Russia from the UN Human Rights Council, welcomed today’s General Assembly decision to suspend the Putin regime as “a rare day of moral clarity at the United Nations and its highest human rights body,” in the words of executive director Hillel Neuer, who now calls for serial abusers like China, Venezuela and Cuba to also be removed.
“Today should be a turning point. EU states and others that often defend the election of gross abusers as somehow a good thing have now effectively abandoned that position in favor of a principled approach, more consistent with the rights council’s own membership criteria,” said Neuer.
Addressing the 14th annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights yesterday, Neuer called on the UN to apply its own rules and standards and remove “Eritrea with its slave labor, Libya, which tortures African migrants and sells them in markets; Mauritania which still has slavery; Pakistan, which hosts terrorists; and Somalia with female genital mutilation. They, too, must all be removed.”
Accountability is also important. “The election of Russia to the world’s top human rights body in 2020 was a shameful act that legitimized Putin’s regime, demoralized his victims, and stained the reputation of the United Nations,” said Neuer.
“The 158 UN member states who two years ago voted to make Putin a world judge on human rights—and the others who stood by silently—should ask forgiveness from the Ukrainian men, women and children who are now paying the price of Russia’s brutal invasion of their country, in Bucha and elsewhere,” said Neuer.
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