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Tuesday 17 October 2017

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A delegate casts his country’s ballot during the General Assembly’s election of 15 members to the UN Human Rights Council in New York on October 16.

The UN General Assembly has elected the Democratic Republic of Congo to the Human Rights Council, despite protests that the country’s record of human rights abuses make it unfit for the job.

The UN General Assembly has elected the Democratic Republic of Congo to the Human Rights Council, despite protests that the country’s record of human rights abuses make it unfit for the job.

Congo was among the 15 countries that won seats on the intergovernmental body starting in January 2018. Others included Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Ukraine.

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley called Congo’s election in the October 16 vote "yet another example of why the Human Rights Council lacks credibility and must be reformed in order to be saved."

Congo’s inclusion is "a slap in the face to the many victims of the Congolese government’s grave abuses across the country," Human Rights Watch said.

The advocacy group UN Watch singled out three of the winners -- Congo, Qatar, and Pakistan -- for criticism, saying that electing them "as a world judge on human rights is like making a pyromaniac into the town fire chief."

Qatar and Nigeria won second terms on the council. The other countries that won seats are Angola, Australia, Senegal, Slovakia, Chile, Mexico, Peru, Nepal, and Spain.

The Human Rights Council is made up of 47 UN member states elected through secret ballots for three-year terms.

Based on reporting by dpa, AP, AFP, and Reuters
Aleksei Navalny

Russia's top election official says that opposition politician Aleksei Navalny will not be eligible to run for office until about 2028.

Russia's top election official says that opposition politician Aleksei Navalny will not be eligible to run for office until about 2028.

Speaking at a youth festival in the southern city of Sochi, Central Election Commission chief Ella Pamfilova warned Navalny and his backers against arguing that he can seek the presidency in a March 2018 vote.

Navalny, 41, has campaigned actively ahead of the election, in which President Vladimir Putin is widely expected to seek and secure a fourth term in the Kremlin.

But the CEC said in June that he is ineligible to run for public office because of a financial-crimes conviction in one of two high-profile cases that he says were fabricated by authorities for political reasons.

"Mr. Navalny is a young politician with a future. He has every chance," state-run news agency TASS quoted Pamfilova as saying.

Due to the conviction, she said, he will be eligible to run for office "sometime in about 2028, plus six months."

If Putin serves another term starting in 2018, he would be constitutionally barred from running in the subsequent presidential election in 2024.

The next election after that is due to be held in 2030.

Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.

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