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Free Pass for World's Worst Abusers


Geneva - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon opens the session of the UN Human Rights Council 03Mar2008

Geneva - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon opens the session of the UN Human Rights Council 03Mar2008

UN Watch, a Geneva-based NGO that monitors the UN's performance, released on February 24 its 2010 UN Watch Report and Scorecard, with recommendations for the US on how to improve the Human Rights Council's (UNHCR) effectiveness.

The report states that the UNHRC turned a blind eye to the world’s worst violations, granting impunity to 18 of the 20 worst violators. It failed to adopt any resolution, special session or investigative mandate for numerous countries on Freedom House's list of the world's worst abusers, including Belarus, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan in RFE/RL's broadcast region. The same holds true for the UNHCR's treatment of Iran, the report says, despite ongoing show trials and executions.

Other resolutions formally defined any discussion of terrorism committed in the name of Islam as a form of “defamation” and “racism,” and undermined UN mechanisms designed to hold countries accountable, such as independent rights monitors.

Analyzing 30 key UNHRC resolutions of the last year, the UN Watch report finds that a majority of 18 were actually counterproductive to human rights. These include resolutions praising Sri Lanka after it killed an estimated 20,000 civilians, and praising Sudan for its “progress.”

Click here for the full report.

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