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Russia loses seat on United Nations Human Rights Council

Russia has lost its seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council, having been ousted by a vote Friday among the 193 member countries of the United Nations. Russia had been a member of the UNHCR since its creation in 2006.

Membership to the 47-member council is appropriated geographically, and Russia was competing with Hungary and Croatia for two available seats allotted to Eastern Europe. In the elections Friday, Russia received only 112 votes, while Hungary and Croatia received 144 votes and 114, respectively. Russia has been widely criticized for human rights violations, particularly with its treatment of LGBT individuals and its support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Also Friday, Saudi Arabia — another nation with a spotty human rights record, as New York Times United Nations reporter Somini Sengupta notes — won one of the seats available for Asia. Egypt, Iraq, China, and the United States were also elected to the council.