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NGOs Release Report Urging & US to Oppose , Russia, Cuba & Saudi


By UN Watch Monday, November 4, 2013

Maldives, Morocco, Namibia, South Africa, South Sudan, Uruguay are


GENEVA, – As the U.N. prepares to elect 14 nations next week to its

highest body, a coalition of non-governmental

groups sent a letter today to U.S.

Ambassador Samantha Power and EU foreign affairs commissioner Catherine

Ashton urging them to oppose the candidacies of China, Cuba, Russia,

Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Jordan, and , which were found to be "Not

Qualified" under the U.N.'s own membership criteria, in a report being

presented right now at a UN breifing in New York before media, diplomats

and human rights activists.

The qualifications of Maldives, Morocco, Namibia, South Africa, South

Sudan, Uruguay were deemed "questionable" based on problematic human

right records or in their UN voting records.

The evaluations were published today by two non-governmental

organizations, the Geneva-based UN Watch and Human Rights Foundation,

and are being presented this afternoon at a UN Headquarters briefing

before diplomats, journalists, and NGO activists.

"China, Cuba, Russia, and Saudi Arabia systematically violate the human

rights of their own citizens," said UN Watch executive director Hillel

Neuer, "and they consistently vote the wrong way on UN initiatives to

protect the human rights of others."

"For the UN to elect Saudi Arabia as a world judge on human rights would

be like a town making a pyromaniac into chief of the fire department."

With the release of the report, an international coalition of 20 NGOs

and MPs today appealed to the U.S. and the EU to take action.

"Regrettably," said Neuer, "so far neither the U.S. nor the EU have said

a word about hypocritical candidacies that will undermine the

credibility and effectiveness of the UN human rights system. By turning

a blind eye as human rights violators easily join and subvert the

council, leading democracies will be complicit in the world body's moral


"It will be an insult to their political prisoners and many other

victims—and a defeat for the global cause of human rights—if the UN

helps abusers act as champions and global judges of human rights.

When the U.N.'s highest human rights body becomes a case of the foxes

guarding the henhouse, the world's victims suffer," said Neuer.

Today's press briefing by UN Watch and Human Rights Foundation—under way

now and being tweeted live here—is featuring courageous champions of

human rights pleading against the election of their oppressors:

Chen Guangcheng, a Chinese civil rights activist who escaped house

arrest in 2012 after being detained for organizing a lawsuit against

Chinese authorities;

Ali al-Ahmed, a Saudi scholar and political analyst who was as

a teenager because of his family members' political activity;

Masha Gessen, a Russian , author, and LGBT rights activist

forced to flee her country with her family after a crackdown on same-sex


Rosa Maria Payá, a human rights advocate from Cuba leading a campaign to

launch an investigation into the death of her father, the late civil

society activist Oswaldo Payá; and

Yang Jianli, a Chinese scholar, pro-democracy advocate, and former

political , who presented a petition against China's bid for a

seat on the UNHRC.

Human Rights Foundation president Thor Halvorssen and UN Watch executive

director Hillel Neuer jointly present their report evaluating the

countries that have submitted candidacies for the November 12 election

of new members to the UNHRC.

Click here for PDF of the full report:

Source: "NGOs Release Report Urging EU & US to Oppose China, Russia,

Cuba & Saudi Arabia" –

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