On Tuesday, five human-rights violators were granted seats on the 47-member U.N. Human Rights Council. The U.N. General Assembly elected 14 new members to the council, including China, Vietnam, Russia, Cuba, and Saudi Arabia.
China and Russia each have more than ten unfulfilled requests for visits by U.N. rights investigators to determine if and when human-rights violations occurred. Saudi Arabia has also refused to let U.N. investigators enter the country.
Neither the EU or the U.S. have made statements about the election. Hillel Neuer of Geneva-based watchdog and human-rights advocacy group UN Watch said, “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 decline.”
“When the U.N.’s highest human rights body becomes a case of the foxes guarding the henhouse, the world’s victims suffer,” he added.
China commonly imprisons members of the press, and their one-child policy promotes forced abortions and sterilizations. Vietnam blocks freedom of repression, association, and assembly. Russia under Vladimir Putin also denies freedom of the press and silences critics. Saudi Arabia denies freedom of religion. Cuba still represses almost all political dissent and forbids its citizens the right to assemble or move freely.