The United Nations General Assembly on Thursday suspended Russia from the U.N. Human Rights Council over reports of ‘gross and systematic violations and abuses of human rights’ by invading Russian troops in Ukraine.
The U.S.-led push won 93 votes in favour to suspend Russia, while 24 countries voted no and 58 countries abstained. A two-thirds majority of voting members – excluding abstentions – was needed to suspend Russia from the 47-member council.
The vote followed allegations that Russian troops systematically executed civilians in Bucha, a town north-west of Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv, and amid other reports of human rights abuses since President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion on Feb. 24.
Suspensions from the council are rare. Libya was suspended in 2011 because of violence against protesters by forces loyal to then-leader Muammar Gaddafi.
The resolution adopted by the 193-member General Assembly draft expresses ‘grave concern at the ongoing human rights and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine,’ particularly at reports of rights abuses by Russia in the town of Bucha and others.
Russia had threatened countries that a yes vote or abstention will be viewed as an ‘unfriendly gesture’ with consequences for bilateral ties.
The country denies attacking civilians in Ukraine. U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said on Tuesday that while Bucha was under Russian control ‘not a single civilian suffered from any kind of violence’ – despite swathes of evidence on the contrary.
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Source: Daily Mail