UNITED NATIONS — China, Russia and Cuba won seats on the UN’s premier human rights body Tuesday despite opposition from activist groups over their abysmal human rights records, but another target, Saudi Arabia, lost.
Russia and Cuba were running unopposed, but China and Saudi Arabia were in a five-way race in the only contested race for seats on the Human Rights Council.
In secret-ballot voting in the 193-member UN General Assembly on that race, Pakistan received 169 votes, Uzbekistan 164, Nepal 150, China 139 and Saudi Arabia just 90 votes. In 2016, the Saudis won a seat with 152 votes.
Despite announced reform plans by Saudi Arabia, Human Rights Watch and others strongly opposed its candidacy saying the Middle East nation continues to target human rights defenders, dissidents and women’s rights activists and has demonstrated little accountability for past abuses, including the killing of Washington Post columnist and Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul two