United Nations Human Rights Council

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Scathing Report Details Atrocities in Venezuela

Experts allege crimes against humanity have been committed there since 2014

(Newser) - Independent experts commissioned by the UN’s top human-rights body have alleged the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has committed crimes against humanity since 2014. The experts issued a scathing, in-depth report on Wednesday that said the people responsible for crimes that include extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detentions,... More »

US Is Leaving UN Human Rights Council

Nikki Haley had been threatening the move

(Newser) - The United States announced Tuesday it was leaving the United Nations' Human Rights Council, with Ambassador Nikki Haley calling it "an organization that is not worthy of its name." It was the latest withdrawal by the Trump administration from an international institution. Haley, Trump's envoy to the... More »

US, Israel Working to Prevent Publication of 'Blacklist'

List will name over 100 companies doing business in West Bank settlements

(Newser) - Weeks ahead of the expected completion of a UN database of companies that operate in Israel's West Bank settlements, Israel and the Trump Administration are working feverishly to prevent its publication, the AP reports. While Israel is usually quick to brush off UN criticism, officials say they are taking... More »

UN Report: Both Sides in Gaza May Be War Criminals

Israel, Palestinians both on the hook for 'serious violations' of humanitarian law

(Newser) - Evidence of "serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law" in the Gaza Strip was noted in a UN report released today—and both Israelis and Palestinians got hammered, the AP reports. But the Human Rights Council probe into the Gaza war that started last July... More »

UN to Finally Probe N. Korea's Secret Gulags

Prison camps could amount to crimes against humanity: official

(Newser) - The UN Human Rights Council has unanimously agreed to launch its first-ever investigation of human rights abuses in North Korea. An investigator urged a focus on prison camps , which "could qualify as crimes against humanity," he said. "These are camps which have the purpose of driving the... More »

In First, Israel Bails on UN Human Rights Review

Calls it a tool for 'bashing' Israel

(Newser) - Israel today became the first nation to boycott a UN human rights review, the New York Times reports. Israel had informally notified the Human Rights Council that it would not attend today's session in Geneva, where it was supposed to take part in the Universal Periodic Review process, and... More »

UN Council Condemns 'Outrageous' Houla Massacre

Only Russia, China, and Cuba vote against it

(Newser) - The UN Human Rights Council sent Syria its harshest rebuke yet in an emergency meeting on the Houla massacre today, approving a resolution to condemn "in the strongest possible terms such an outrageous use of force against the civilian population." Almost the entire 47-nation council approved the US-... More »

NAACP Takes Outrage Over Voter ID Laws to the UN

Benjamin Jealous wants human rights council to 'shame them'

(Newser) - The NAACP is taking its battle against new US voting laws all the way to Geneva, McClatchy reports. The venerable civil rights organization plans to argue next week before a United Nations panel that a recent crop of voting laws violate civil and human rights. Members of the United Nations... More »

Syrian Opposition Forms Military Bureau

Rebels say they have so far kept the government out of Homs

(Newser) - Syria's main political opposition group today announced that it was forming a "military bureau" to unify and coordinate the Free Syrian army and other armed opposition groups opposing Bashar al-Assad. Speaking in Paris, the Syrian National Council's leader said they had originally hoped for a nonviolent revolt,... More »

UN: Syrian Forces Killed, Tortured 256 Children

Human Rights Council adds to pressure on President Assad

(Newser) - A UN investigation concluded today that Syrian forces committed crimes against humanity by killing and torturing hundreds of children, including a 2-year-old girl reportedly shot to death so she wouldn't grow up to be a demonstrator. The inquiry added to mounting international pressure on President Bashar Assad, a day... More »

UN: Libyan Rebels Committed War Crimes, Too

But rebel offenses not as systematic, widespread as those of Gadhafi's forces

(Newser) - A UN investigation has found evidence that both sides of the Libyan conflict have committed war crimes—though the rebels had committed fewer than Moammar Gadhafi’s forces. The rebels were accused of torture and cruel treatment against migrant workers, “which would constitute war crimes,” the report said,... More »

UN Rights Chief to World: Play Nice With WikiLeaks

She raises alarm over moves to cut off funding, starve it of server space

(Newser) - Hackers aren't the only ones not happy about companies deciding to stop doing business with WikiLeaks. The United Nation High Commissioner for Human Rights said yesterday that attempts to cut off WikiLeaks' funding and deprive it of server space "could be interpreted as an attempt to censure the... More »

UN Slams Israel's 'Brutal, Illegal' Flotilla Raid

Raid 'betrayed an unacceptable level of brutality'

(Newser) - A United Nations-appointed panel has strongly condemned the deadly Israeli raid on a flotilla of ships trying to break the Gaza blockade. The raid, which left nine activists dead, "betrayed an unacceptable level of brutality," the UN Human Rights Council's fact-finding mission concluded. The panel found that there... More »

UN to US: Drone Attacks Could Be Unlawful

Human rights watchdog wants more accountability from CIA in Pakistan

(Newser) - A UN human rights watchdog has some strong misgivings about the CIA drone attacks on suspected terrorists in Pakistan that have killed 600 people since last year. "Extralegal executions" are a violation of international law, Philip Alston tells the BBC. “These Predators are being operated in a framework... More »

UN Warms Up to US

Real challenge comes when US parts with world allies

(Newser) - The relationship between the US and the UN is noticeably warmer these days, with new ambassador Susan Rice getting high marks across the board, write Adam Benz and Robert Friedman in Good magazine. Granted, she replaced Bushie John Bolton, who prior to his appointment could barely conceal his disdain for... More »

UN Begins Gaza War Crimes Probe

Israel alleges bias, but Jewish rapporteur draws wide praise

(Newser) - A UN team investigating possible war crimes by the Israeli army and Hamas has arrived in the Gaza Strip for a weeklong fact-finding mission. Israel is refusing to cooperate with what it calls a "masquerade," alleging that the UN Human Rights Council is unfairly biased. But the selection... More »

US Lands Seat on UN Human Rights Council

Bush White House had boycotted body over Israel, Darfur stances

(Newser) - The US today won a seat on the UN Human Rights Council for the first time, along with four countries accused of serious human rights violations: Cuba, Saudi Arabia, China, and Russia. President Bush's administration had boycotted the council over its repeated criticism of Israel and its refusal to cite... More »

US to Join UN Human Rights Panel, Reversing Bush

(Newser) - In another reversal of Bush policy, the Obama administration said today it would seek to join the UN Human Rights Council. The US will participate in May elections for one of three open seats on the 3-year-old body, the Washington Post reports. Bushies declined to join, arguing that the council... More »

Burmese Comedian Bust Not Funny: UN

Popular funnyman had criticized junta and led team in relief effort

(Newser) - The UN's human rights official in Burma expressed concern over the arrest of a popular Burmese comedian who’d been helping cyclone survivors, the AP reports. The comedian, known as Zarganar, was nabbed Wednesday by authorities after traveling to the hard-hit Irrawaddy Delta to donate supplies, a relative said. He... More »

UN Official Defends His Comparison of Israelis to Nazis

Jerusalem considers barring successor

(Newser) - A UN investigator hasn't even begun his new job probing Israeli conduct in the Palestinian territories and he is already facing a firestorm of criticism. Richard Falk has been slammed for a comment he made last summer comparing Israel's actions in Gaza to Nazi policies. He defended the comments yesterday... More »

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