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October 17, 2019 2:08 pm

‘Protecting Dictators’: Israel’s UN Ambassador Condemns Election of Venezuela and Libya to Human Rights Council

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

The UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. Photo: UN.

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations responded furiously on Thursday to the news that Venezuela and Libya had been elected to serve on the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), despite the long records of systemic human rights abuse in both countries.

“The Human Rights Council continues to abandon human rights and is now in the business of protecting dictators and war crimes,” Danny Danon — Israel’s UN envoy in New York — declared in a statement. “In Venezuela, a dictator starves his people, and in Libya there are camps that torture African migrants.”

Danon observed that “these countries are added to the Council’s ‘moral leadership,’ as the body no longer hides its obsessive hostility to Israel, and legitimizes those who blatantly violate and act against its original mandate.”
Venezuela and Libya were elected to two of the 14 available seats on the UNHRC during a vote on Thursday in Geneva, where the council holds its sessions. According to UN Watch, a Geneva-based human rights NGO, Venezuela received the support of 54 percent of the council, beating Costa Rica’s bid to gain a seat by nine votes. Libya received the support of 87 percent of the council, while Mauritania — where chattel slavery remains entrenched — received 81 percent, and Sudan — frequently the location of genocide and ethnic cleansing — received 91 percent approval.

US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft said, “Today’s election of the former Maduro regime in Venezuela to the UN Human Rights Council is an embarrassment to the United Nations and a tragedy for the people of Venezuela. I am personally aggrieved that 105 countries voted in favor of this affront to human life and dignity. It provides ironclad proof that the Human Rights Council is broken and reinforces why the United States withdrew.”

“That one of the world’s worst human-rights abusers would be granted a seat on a body that is supposed to defend human rights is utterly appalling,” she continued. “The people of Venezuela should rest assured that Maduro cannot hide behind the cloak of an illegitimate body like the Human Rights Council.”

“Let me be clear: I will not forget those who continue to suffer at the hands of Maduro, and the United States will continue to work with freedom-loving nations in the hemisphere and around the world to support the Venezuelan people,” Craft concluded.

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