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UN Rights Chief Voices Concern Over Efforts To Silence Critics In Russia

The top United Nations human rights official has voiced concern at efforts by governments, including China and Russia, to silence critics.

Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein criticized China's detention and interrogation of more than 100 lawyers in recent months and the "stigmatization" of foreign-funded activist groups under a new Russian law.

In a speech opening the UN Human Rights Council on September 14, Zeid welcomed Iran's deal with major powers to curb its nuclear program, adding: "I urge Iran to make commensurate progress in human rights."

Zeid told the 47-member state forum in Geneva that Europe needed to build on a surge of sympathy for refugees by setting up comprehensive policies to expand migration channels.

He called for a halt to detention and "ill-treatment" of asylum seekers, especially children, who are fleeing war and persecution in countries including Syria.

Based on reporting by Reuters