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

    NGOs Release Report Urging EU & US to Oppose China, 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 human rights body, a coalition of non-governmental human rights
    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 Vietnam, 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 gross 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 arrested as
    a teenager because of his family members’ political activity;
    Masha Gessen, a Russian journalist, 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 prisoner, 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” –