Saudi Arabia, China and Iraq are among the countries with a record of human rights abuses that have been given 2017 membership to the UN Human Rights Council. Other countries elected include Venezuela, Cuba, Qatar, Burundi, Bangladesh and United Arab Emirates.
Countries elected by the United Nations for the 2017-2019 term have the mandate to “uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights“:
Israel is not a member of the Council.
— Hillel Neuer (@HillelNeuer) January 2, 2017
Watchdog and advocacy group, UNWatch, have compiled a list of some of the countries and their record or allegations of human rights abuse:
- Saudi Arabia
Expertise in human rights: Death sentences for apostasy and adultery; corporal punishment including flogging and amputation; judiciary controlled by regime; beheading more peoeple than ever before; arbitrary arrests of dissenters and minorities; no freedom of speech; jails blogger Raif Badawi.
Expertise in human rights: Widespread arbitrary detention; imprisonment of opposition leaders; intimidation of journalists; torture; policies causing mass hunger and health catastrophe.
Expertise in human rights: Denial of freedom of speech, religion, and association; extrajudicial killings; repression of civil society; discrimination against Tibetans and other minorities.
Expertise in human rights: Systematic violation of freedom of speech, assembly, press; elections are neither free nor fair; threats and violence against dissidents.
Expertise in human rights: Pro-government militias commit widespread human rights abuses, including assassinations, enforced disappearances, property destruction.
Expertise in human rights: Inhuman conditions for 1.4 million migrant workers; women denied basic rights to equality, denied right to be elected to legislative council.
Expertise in human rights: Police killings of peaceful protesters; government forces commit summary executions, targeted assassinations, enforced disappearances; arbitrary detention, torture, sexual violence; genocide warning.
Expertise in human rights: Extrajudicial killings, forced disappearances, killing of secular bloggers by Islamist groups, restrictions on online speech and the press, early and forced marriage, gender-based violence, abysmal working conditions and labour rights.
- United Arab Emirates
Expertise in human rights: No political parties, no option to change government; restrictions on freedoms of speech, press, assembly, association; arrests without charge, incommunicado detentions, lengthy pretrial detentions; police and prison guard brutality; violence against women; anti-gay discrimination; mistreatment and sexual abuse of foreign domestic servants and other migrant workers.