Our intended companions on the UN Human Rights Council

Liberty Scott takes a look at some of the company we will share if our misguided attempt to get on the succeeds:

– Cameroon, which imprisons men suspected of homosexual activity and forcibly engages in anal examinations of them to seek evidence.
– Djibouti, which tends to arrest and imprison journalists who criticise the government in isolation wards;
– Nigeria, whose Police boast of 795 extrajudicial killings in 3 months, with politicians leading gangs of thugs who terrorise with murder, rape and arson against opponents or supporters of opponents;
– South Africa, which treats Zimbabwean refugees as purely economic migrants and facilitates the ongoing oppression in Zimbabwe;
– Bangladesh, which engages in arbitrary arrests, frequent torture in custody, extrajudicial killings, journalists accused of defaming the government or military get arrested and sometimes tortured;
– China, which arrests, tortures and executes political opponents;
– Indonesia, which imprisons people for blasphemy against Islam, arrests political activists in West Papua;
– Jordan, which strictly punishes criticism of the King and civil servants, detains women to protect them from domestic violence;
– Egypt, which arrests political opponents without trial, tortures and engages in extrajudicial killings, imprisons editors of critical newspapers, requires government approval of NGOs;
– Qatar, which requires all NGOs to be registered and are monitored and bans political protests, or membership of any organisation critical of Arab governments;
– Saudi Arabia, which arrests without charge, puts critics in solitary confinement, sentences those convicted of sodomy to up to 7000 lashes, grants the death sentence by decapitation to those as young as 13, enforces strict limits on criticism of the government and Islam, denies women the right to work, travel, study, marry, receive health care, and access government agencies, including when they seek protection or redress as victims of domestic violence, unless authorised by a father or husband, flogs rape victims for illegally associating with the opposite sex;
– Azerbaijan, which regularly tortures those arrested, arrests and shuts down opposition media and journalists;
– Russia, which engages in extrajudicial and politically motivated executions, tortures and kills young soldiers in its own army as part of hazing, NGOs are required to register and the government shuts down and threatens opposition media;
– Cuba, which suppresses all forms of political dissent, prohibits gatherings of groups, arrests and imprisons political opponents including classifying some as mental patients.

National could save us all from embarrassment by announcing it will not pursue a place on the Council. Even if the vote is before the election, the mere fact the bid does not have bipartisan support should be enough to help us fail.

Generally I support a bipartisan approach to UN issues, but really it would just be sickening to have our credibility propping up these human rights abusers as Iran (which sometimes kills women who get raped) criticises the UK for its lack of progress on sexual equality issues.

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