China, Russia, Saudi, Vietnam win seats on UN human rights body

AP , Tuesday 12 Nov 2013

The General Assembly elects 14 new members to the 47-seat Geneva-based Human Rights Council

China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam won seats on the Human Rights Council, the U.N.'s highest rights watchdog body, upsetting independent human rights groups.

The General Assembly on Tuesday elected 14 new members to the 47-seat Geneva-based council, which can shine a spotlight on rights abuses by adopting resolutions — when it chooses to do so. It also has dozens of special monitors watching problem countries and major issues ranging from executions to drone strikes.

New York-based Human Rights Watch said five candidate nations — China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and Algeria — have refused to let U.N. investigators visit to check alleged abuses.

Also elected to three-year terms were Britain and France, the Maldives, Macedonia, Cuba, Mexico, Algeria, Morocco, Namibia, South Africa.

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