United Nations suspends Russia from human rights body over Ukraine

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United Nations, April 07: 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 garnered 93 votes in favor, while 24 countries voted no and 58 countries abstained. A two-thirds majority of voting members – abstentions do not count – was needed to suspend Russia from the 47-member council.

The UNGA needed a two-thirds majority to suspend Russia, now the second country ever suspended after the UNGA voted to remove Libya from the Human Rights Council in 2011 in response to Moammar Gadhafi’s violent crackdown on anti-government protesters.

U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, told CNN on Wednesday that they “absolutely” have the votes to suspend Russia.

“We have been working very, very hard since this war started to build a coalition of countries who are prepared to condemn Russia. We got 141 votes, the first time we went into the General Assembly. The second time we got 140. And I have no doubt that we can defeat Russia here on the Human Rights Council,” Thomas-Greenfield said.

She added: “They don’t deserve to be on the Human Rights Council.”