China won a set Tuesday on the UN Human Rights Council, along with Russia, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Cuba and Algeria, prompting criticism from independent human rights groups who pointed to the nations’ poor record on that front, Associated Press reported. The General Assembly elected 14 new members to the 47-seat Geneva-based council, which can shine a spotlight on rights abuses by adopting resolutions, the report said. Britain, France, the Maldives, Macedonia, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia and South Africa were also elected to three-year terms. Human Rights Watch noted that five of the new council members — China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and Algeria — have refused to let UN investigators visit to check alleged abuses. China, Russia and Algeria have 10 or more unfulfilled requests for visits by UN experts, some dating back to 2000, the group was quoted as saying.
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