Published: Sat, October 13, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

India elected to UNHRC securing maximum votes

India elected to UNHRC securing maximum votes

India's neighbor country Bangladesh which is dealing with Rohingya issue, was also got elected to the Council with 178 votes to the Council.

"Earning a seat in the said Council, however, puts pressure on the Philippine government to address numerous allegations of human rights violations, starting with the growing cases of extrajudicial killings purportedly linked to the government's campaign against illegal drugs", the commission said in a statement.

The move has however attracted the ire of political and human rights groups who insist that Eritrea, Cameroon and Somalia had no business serving on the Council given their current rights record.

The UN General Assembly in NY approved the new members in a vote on Friday.

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other rights groups also raised red flags about some other countries elected to the council Friday, including Bahrain and Cameroon.

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India's election to the Council was all but certain as there were only five nations vying for the five seats in the Asia Pacific category.

India was elected to the United Nations' top human rights body for a period of three years beginning January 1, 2019, getting 188 votes in the Asia-Pacific category, the highest number of votes among all candidates.

For the first time since the council was created in 2006, each voting region agreed in advance on 18 candidates to be in the running for 18 seats - removing any competition.

The 18 new members were selected from five regional blocs of countries, and their elections were largely predetermined since they were not challenged by other countries.

The United States pulled out of the council in June, calling the organization a "hypocritical" body that "makes a mockery of human rights", in particular in regard to its stance on Israel.

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Campaigners had urged United Nations member states to oppose the candidacy of the Philippines and Eritrea and said the choice of Bahrain and Cameroon raised "significant concerns". Yet again, countries with poor human rights records ran uncontested.

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

The organisation said Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte's crackdown on drugs had been "a killing frenzy that has left thousands dead" and that Eritrean authorities had persecuted and jail government critics.

It also sends out special rapporteurs, special representatives, independent experts and working groups to examine, advise and publicly report on the human rights situation in specific countries.

"The United States will continue to support reforms that would make the Human Rights' Council credible".

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In Cameroon, HRW said government forces and armed separatists had committed "grave abuses" in the country's Anglophone region.

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