United Nations Elects Dictators, Repressive Regimes to Rights Council

U.N. General Assembly

The United Nations General Assembly has again elected repressive dictatorships and authoritarian regimes to its human rights council, eliciting rebukes from rights groups.

Eighteen countries were selected on Wednesday to serve three-year terms on the council that begins in January. The Human Rights Foundation expressed concerns about several of the elected states, including Burundi, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Kyrgyzstan, Togo, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela.

Royce: Obama Has Failed to Pressure Iran on Rights Abuses

Rep. Ed Royce / AP

President Obama has only issued sanctions against a few Iranian officials and entities for human rights abuses since the start of nuclear talks with Tehran, despite his assurances that he would continue to apply pressure, according to the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Visiting Chinese President Ushers in Worst Repression Since Mao’s Cultural Revolution

Xi Jinping

President Xi Jinping, set to visit Washington for an official state visit on Friday, is sponsoring the most severe repression of China’s civil society since the Cultural Revolution of 1966-1976, according to rights activists who have also criticized the Obama administration’s efforts to become a closer economic partner with Beijing.

Discovery of Mass Grave in Malaysia Renews Criticism of ‘Heartless’ State Department

Authorities investigating a mass grave site in Malaysia in May / AP

Another mass grave for human trafficking victims has been discovered in Malaysia, according to recent reports, raising further questions about the Department of State’s decision to upgrade the country’s ranking in this year’s Trafficking in Persons report.