Washington (Times Of Ocean)- Bipartisan senators in the US are calling for the removal of Russia from the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, which they call “unprovoked, inhumane, and illegal.”
In a letter dated Monday, the senators, led by Menendez and Jim Risch, the panel’s ranking Republican, US lawmakers asked UN Envoy Linda Thomas-Greenfield to bring forth a resolution to remove Russia from the rights body.
Among the casualties cited are widespread civilian deaths and indiscriminate shelling of apartment buildings, hospitals, and schools, as well as massacres of fleeing civilians.
“The multitude of crimes committed by the Russian Federation, and by Vladimir Putin himself, demonstrates that the Russian government has no intention of upholding international human rights,” the eight Democrats and four Republicans wrote, referring to the Russian president by name.
“As such, it is time we consider whether the Russian Federation deserves to reap benefits from an organization whose mission is to promote and protect human rights around the world,” they added.
Senators said a UNHRC member can be removed from the body via a two-thirds vote in the UN General Assembly if they have engaged in “a pattern of gross and systemic abuses.”
As of Feb. 24, nearly 1,200 civilians have been killed in Russia’s war on Ukraine, and nearly 1,860 have been injured, according to the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Due to delays in accessing areas of heightened hostilities, the true toll is likely to be much higher.
UNHCR says more than 3.9 million Ukrainians have fled the violence and sought refuge in several European countries, with millions more internally displaced.