China, Russia in line for top UN human rights body

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Associated Press

Posted on November 11, 2013 at 6:34 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 11 at 7:03 PM

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam are among the nations running unopposed for seats on the U.N. Human Rights Council, a prospect that has independent human rights groups crying foul.

On Tuesday, the General Assembly will elect 14 new members to the 47-seat, Geneva-based Human Rights Council, which can shine a spotlight of publicity and censure 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 points out that five of the candidates — China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and Algeria -- have refused to let independent U.N. human rights monitors visit to investigate alleged abuses.

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