Reuters reports that Syria and Iran will both pursue seats on the U.N. Human Rights Council later this year. There “will be 14 seats available for three-year terms [that begin] in January 2014.”
Of those 14 seats, four seats will be up for election among the “so-called Asia group” of council members. The Middle Eastern and Asian countries vying for those seats include China, Iran, Jordan, Maldives, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Vietnam.
UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer responded to this news by saying, “Countries that murder and torture their own people must not be allowed to become the world’s judges on human rights.”
He pointed to recent inroads both countries have made at the U.N. to show that diligence will be required now more than ever: “Because both regimes were recently elected to other U.N. human rights panels–Iran on the women’s rights commission and Syria on UNESCO’s human rights committee–we cannot take anything for granted.”
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