Gather round, fellow earthlings, and give a pat on the back to the newest members of the planet’s panel for judging the human rights records of the community of nations.
First up among the latest crop of countries on the 47-member Human Rights Council in Geneva: Venezuela. That is where President Nicolas Maduro has orchestrated, in the words of Freedom House, a “brazen crackdown on the political opposition, employing frequent arrests, torture and temporary disappearances to quash dissent.”
Next newbie: Mauritania. That is where up to 20% of the population, and up to half of the minority Haratine ethnic group, is enslaved. The government, reports Freedom House, “continues to arrest antislavery and antidiscrimination activists.” Certain forms of blasphemy are punishable by death.
Now, greet new member Libya. There, attempts to install a unity government in the wake of the removal of Moammar Khadafy have failed, leaving militias to compete for control. Per Human Rights Watch, they “harass and persecute civilians with impunity, and carry out arbitrary detention, torture, unlawful killings, indiscriminate attacks, disappearances, seizure of property and forced displacement.”
Last, welcome Sudan, where the authoritarian president deposed in a coup earlier this year suffocated all who challenged his power, and a transitional government now tries to put the pieces back together.
The fantastic four join incumbents like China, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Eritrea, Qatar, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia and Pakistan.
All of whom, no doubt, will speak with one voice when it comes time, as it inevitably does, to pick on Israel.
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