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United Nations, Eritrea : Rights abuser UN elevation confers dubious respectability on the undeserving

Par Simon Tisdall - 2 mn


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The ruling regime in Eritrea is generally held to be one of the worst human rights abusers in the world. Eritreans fleeing oppression account for a large proportion of migrants seeking refuge in Europe. But last Friday Eritrea w as elected a member of the UN’s top human rights body, the human rights council, by secret ballot in the UN general assembly.

The voting also conferred council membership on five other countries – Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cameroon, the Philippines and Somalia – that independent advocacy groups also judge to be “unqualified” by reason of their chronic human rights abuses and negative voting record on rights .

The groups – UN Watch, the Human Rights Foundation and the Raoul Wallenberg Cent re for Human Rights – warned the results could undermine the council’s credibility.

In a report last week, Irwin Cotler , the head of the Raoul Wallenberg Cent re for Human Rights and a former Canadian minister of justice, said: “Regrettably, when the UN itself ends up electi...

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