Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Friday, June 01, 2007

Egypt gains council seat despite human rights record

If Egypt wants to keep one of the 14 seats on the United Nations Human Rights Council, it must improve its human rights record, Human Rights Watch, U.N. Watch and other rights groups said Saturday, according to the Middle East Times.

On May 17 Egypt was elected to the U.N. body, despite its questionable domestic record. The seat members are evaluated according to a number of factors, including, as the article notes, “political rights and freedoms, freedom of the press, and human rights promotion at the U.N.” Many groups argue that Egypt should not have been awarded the seat because of its notoriety for arbitrary arrests, routine torture and harsh restrictions on civil society.

Similar objections have been raised by human rights groups in response to several other seats recently awarded in the elections. Qatar, Angola and Belarus will join Egypt on the Human Rights Council in spite of their questionable records.

For the full article, click here.



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