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Records of Some New UN Rights Council Members Criticized
By Margaret Besheer
UNITED NATIONS — Human rights groups have criticized the election by the United Nations General Assembly of several countries with spotty rights' records to the U.N. Human Rights Council. Of the 18 countries elected Monday to the Geneva-based body, human rights advocates say only about a third are qualified.
The 47-member Human Rights Council is often the target of criticism for its focus on Israel and its election of some members who are accused of having spotty human rights records.
Seats on the council are allocated according to regional groupings. This year, the only group putting forward a competitive slate was the Western and Others Group, which saw Ireland, Germany and the United States beat Greece and Sweden for three open seats.
The United States won a second consecutive term to the rights council, after in the past choosing not to be a part. U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said Washington is better positioned and more likely to strengthen the body by continuing to be a part of it.
“We made the decision in 2009 to seek a seat on the Human Rights Council because the United States believes that we must be at the forefront of speaking out against human rights abuses and speaking up in favor of those who are suffering and living under the grip of the world’s cruelest regimes," said Rice.
The winners of the council’s other vacant seats were predetermined within their regional groups, which put forward only enough candidates to fill their empty seats.
Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya and Sierra Leone will fill the five vacant African seats. Japan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates will fill the five open Asia-Pacific seats. Estonia and Montenegro will hold the two Eastern European seats while Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela take the three seats of the group of Latin American and Caribbean states.
Rights groups have expressed doubts about whether at least seven of these countries - Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela - have adequate human rights records of their own.
Human Rights Watch’s U.N. Director Philippe Bolopion criticized the lack of competition and the questionable records of some of the council’s new members.
“It is certainly the case of Pakistan, which, for example, needs to do much more to end abuses, including to protect religious minorities or repeal the blasphemy law. It’s also certainly the case of Venezuela which falls short of member standards and needs to, for example, restore judicial independence or release Judge [Maria Lourdes] Afiuni. And it is also the case of the UAE, which needs to end rights abuses in the country. including the arbitrary detention of 63 prisoners," said Bolopion.
Pakistan’s Ambassador Masood Khan said rights groups are welcome to criticize his country’s bid, saying that is their right. He added that Pakistan attaches importance to all human rights.
“All human rights - whether they are civil or political or economic, cultural or social. There is no hierarchy, all these rights are part of an integral whole; they can’t be fragmented," said Khan.
The five African countries selected to sit on the Human Rights Council have all come under some form of criticism as well. HRW's Bolopion singled out Ethiopia’s poor rights record.
“The Ethiopian government should take this opportunity to take meaningful steps, for example, to respect the rights to freedom of expression and assembly or to start holding its security forces to account, as well as maybe start really cooperating with the Human Rights Council it is now set to join," he said.
The new members will serve three year terms beginning in January.
Ethiopia under the ethnic baiting Meles had more that a spotty record on human rights, it has a very dark record no if and but….
Ethiopians must hunt down TPLFs and eliminate them once and for all so that we can get back to the business of nation building!!!
HRW, cry me a river. What else can you do? Ethiopia these days is not any more your punching bag.
Live and learn!
For the Ethiopian government to take meaningful steps, for example, to respect the rights to freedom of expression and assembly or to start holding its security forces to account, as well as maybe start really cooperating with HRW, its officials has to be slapped with sanctions such as freezing their personal account in overseas accounts! Only then you will start seeing a real change!…..
The result of hard work and good governance paid of thanks to EPRDF great vision.
It is good to Ethiopia to be in UN rights council b/c the council will suffocate them better when we cry for our rights. This time the so called Ethiopian government will be the loser. We will win the heart and mind of all peace loving people.
What a Joke .The TPLF racist ,looter
and Genocider regime member of the UN Human Rights Commitee .Wonder what would be the nearest decisions :
Human Rights Activists accused of Terrorism ,the END of the International Criminal Court ,the rehabilitation of Despots and Tyrants under arrest and on international Inquiries ,the then Crime Minister nominated as the Champion of Human Rights…LOL !!!!
Let him who has never committed a human rights violation pick the first stone against Ethiopia.
Bear in mind, Democracy is a process.
The criminals org. Called UN. And it’s branches like this one HR. A homxxxoo and lesbxxxan org.
Lejib Sega tebek.
Roughly translated. ..Just like asking the Hyenas to be the custodian of Meat department
1) If arbitrary detention against other Ethnic groups like a number of Amhara Journalist, Oromo/Amara politician, e.g. Junedin’s Wife will not get free, I believe that whatever construction may bring development for the moment, ultimately the Country will turn to crisis.
2) Property right should be protected. It is not advisable to take from region X/individual and give to political party for region y prosperity.
3) From two day ago, someone wrote me a link that there is a company called EFFORT. It appears that this company is owned by a political party. This company has been also brought a significant contribution, mainly in the areas of industrialization. Further, some sources indicate that this company is owned only by Tigray people. Its operation also ment only for that region. This is entirely unacceptable for:
*Political party likely biased toward their own business.
*Biased against other region hurt the business viability and morale of other region.
I suggest here that since the initial fund for the EFFORT is from public sources, it is advisable if the business of this company would be shared/given to other regions/Ethnic groups like Amhara, Oromo so that everyone will not remain behind.
4) As I read, heard and saw, It is obvious that some politically affiliated or innocent people were a victim of this gov’t for justice or injustices reason , specially during Meles Zenawi. Now those people have left the country and never felt comfortable toward the continuity of the political party in the country. Even they appears that they are taking vengeance through different strategies and seeking change in the country.
My suggestion here:
* The current gov’t or its political party is better to continue because it will take many sacrifices and resources to change it. Further, any prospect to bring change also likely damage the good economic development of the country. But, as well, the victims should get some compromise from the government. For example, up lifting of any justice against them and full warranty that they can return to their home country and then led their life on what direction they want. If there is any of their property was taken by gov’t it is better to return to them with at least the value of their resources/assets. I believe this will untimely reconcile animosity between the victims and gov’t, and further reflect a good picture of the country. From here, all will grow together.
I mean now, whatever ideology they used to run, whether they were belong to Ginbot, ONLF, OLF and others it is better to forget what was happened before, and now try to work together for the prosperity of the country.
I am feeling a bad sorrow for those who lost their relatives due to gov’t action during the past. I also ask those victims to stop retribution. Then forget about unreality of human right philosophy. Rather solve your problem by your own. Of course, Human right may create job opportunity for someone where you may enjoy that.
Initiation for reconciliation should start from Ethiopian gov’t being it has power. Being it also has new prime minister who should act as neutral chair and with promise not to inflict any further damages.
If the above mentioned will not get a consideration, I have further concern that the country will be destabilized. Then, each ethnic or region will have link for no good results. Finally, workers, poor people and economic development will be jeparadised.
Please note that I don’t have any political interest nor be biased against any party, individual or gov’t as of yet. However, it is initiating me to participate when I hear some none appealing actions of those victims and/or gov’t. Whether you believe or not this is my status now. I believe that if both of you act positively and collaboratively, you can strengthen development.
EVEN U.S. HAS FAKE HUMAN RIGHTS?
U.S. HAS 2.6 MILLION PRISONERS (70% MIONORITIES), 1 MILLION MORE THAN CHINA…NOT INCLUDING GUANTANAMO.
Those prisoners in U.S. might be criminal. Though I don’t know about USA, I have seen many countries including western that the philosophy of Human Right is hardly working.
It’s a surprise N. Korea didn’t make the list.
The latest news is CIA director David Petraeus wish he were in saudi arabia so that islamic sharia law excited on him and die instead of suffering this kind of saga… He ask himself what is the different b/w Islamic sharia law and America mob justice in Saudi Arabia a few people throw stone at u but in America they allow the whole world throw stone at u 24/7 they talk about u as if u are the first man who committed adultery …David Petraeus lost every thing his job, his marriage and his pride all his life work what his better it would be much better to die by sharia law… This is what is called human right in America what is their business if one committed adultery it is only his wife business if u ask me.
Great observation and comment. I like it. Wow!!
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