PH wins UN Human Rights Council seat

A member of Somalia's security services patrols the scene of a suicide car bomb blast

A member of Somalia's security services patrols the scene of a suicide car bomb blast

The HRW earlier said United Nations countries must show their outrage against the Philippines and Eritrea by keeping them off the council.

"By putting forward serious rights violators and presenting only as many candidates as seats available, the regional groups risk undermining the council's credibility and effectiveness", it said. "The world's democracies must join in the preservation and protection of the Council's mandate, and not end up accomplices to its breach".

Photo shows a general view of the 39th UN Council of Human Rights at the UN Offices in Geneva.

So far, no other country has backed Zeid's call for the investigation. Yet again, countries with poor human rights records ran uncontested.

"Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte's abusive "war on drugs" has been a killing frenzy that has left thousands dead", the HRW claimed. India will be a member of the council for three years, starting January 1, 2019.

India's presence on the Council will be important because the previous UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad Al Hussein asked the body to facilitate an global commission of enquiry into allegations of human rights violation in Kashmir. Bahrain insists its criminal trials have been independent and transparent.

"Only this year the government of 36-year ruler Paul Biya has been found burning villages in the Anglophone areas of the country, disappearing political opponents, and summarily executing women and children, on film", he said. The government denies the allegations.

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Louis Charbonneau, the group's United Nations director, called the vote "ridiculous" and said on Twitter it "makes mockery of (the) word 'election'".

The United States withdrew from the Council earlier this year after its Permanent Representative Nikki Haley questioned its legitimacy because of the presence of several dictatorial regimes violating human rights on it.

In June, Ms Haley described the council as a "cesspool of political bias" that displayed unending hostility towards Israel - a close United States ally.

The council also sends out independent experts and has set up commissions of inquiry to report on human rights violations in countries including Syria, North Korea, Burundi, Myanmar and South Sudan.

Her spokesman later declined to directly address the criticism, but instead noted: "It's clear that the world expects that members of global bodies will abide to a certain set of standards of behavior consistent with the bodies they have been elected to".

The UNHRC meets three times a year, and reviews the human rights records of all UN members in a special process the council says gives countries the chance to say what they have done to improve human rights, known as the Universal Periodic Review.

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