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Russia voted out of UN Human Rights Council
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Russia voted out of UN Human Rights Council



The General Assembly voted Russia off the UN Human Rights Council on Friday, a stunning rebuke to the country which is increasingly being accused of war crimes over its actions in Syria. 

The 193-member General Assembly elected 14 members to 47-nation council, the UN's main body charged with promoting and protecting human rights. 

Russia, which received 112 votes, lost its regional seat to Hungary, with 144 votes, and Croatia with 114 votes. 

The outcome was an upset for Russia, which has been a member for all but one year since the council was set up in 2006.

Asked about the defeat, Russian ambassador Vitaly Churkin quipped: "We need a break.”

"Croatia and Hungary fortunately, because of their size, they are not as exposed to the winds of international diplomacy. Russia is quite exposed,” he said.

"We have been there a number of years. I am sure next time we are going to get it.”

More than 80 human rights and aid organizations had urged UN member-states to vote Russia off the council for its military support of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s bloody civil war.

Russia has been accused by Western powers and rights groups of indiscriminate bombings in the Syrian government operation to seize rebel-held eastern Aleppo.
 
Brazil, China, Croatia, Cuba, Egypt, Hungary, Iraq, Japan, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Tunisia, United Kingdom and the United States were elected for three-year terms beginning January 1, 2017. India is a member of the 47-member human rights body and its term will expire in 2017.






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