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The U.N. Human Rights Council: Warped definition

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Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or

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Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

That the United States remains a United Nations Human Rights Council member after the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday elected China, Cuba, Russia and Saudi Arabia — four of the world's worst human-rights violators — to HRC seats is a travesty of policy that mocks America's supposed human-rights leadership.

President George W. Bush rightly declined U.S. membership when the council was created in 2006. President Obama accepted U.S. membership as a chance to reform the HRC from within. But as Claudia Rosett, journalist-in-residence at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, tells The Washington Free Beacon, reform hasn't occurred — and council seats only provide human-rights violators with legitimacy and opportunity to “warp the basic definition of human rights.”

The HRC's advocacy of free-speech bans under the guise of fighting racism and blasphemy and its repeated condemnations of democratic Israel show what an oxymoron its name is. That makes oppressive China, Cuba, Russia and Saudi Arabia perfect fits for a body that in truth despises human rights: they deprive government critics, religious and ethnic minorities, women, human-rights organizations and average citizens of basic liberties as a way of life.

Such dictatorial regimes are emboldened, not deterred, by the U.S. sitting among them on the Human Rights Council. Until and unless the Obama administration renounces U.S. membership on the council — or, better, U.N. membership — America will keep playing the reprobates' game to their advantage.

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