April 08, 2022

UN General Assembly voted to remove Russia from UNHRC - how did Laos vote?

The UN General Assembly voted to remove Russia from the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on April 7, 2022.

The resolution was brought forth after atrocities against civilians were discovered in Bucha, Ukraine, that has lead to an international outcry and condemnation of Putin and Russia's military.  Dead bodies were found in mass graves, as well as, along the streets and in confined rooms.  In some cases the bodies appeared to have been tortured and executed with their hands tied behind them. 

The brutal discovery happened after Russian military forces retreated north of Kyiv to return across the border to Belarus after their failed attempt to take Ukraine's capital city.

The last time a country was removed from its 3-years term on the UNHRC was in 2011 when Libya was removed after its brutal crackdown on protests.  Russia had only joined the body in January 2021.

Laos, for its part, voted against the resolution.  Russia had urged its allies not just to abstain but to vote against the resolution.  In light of this, many still abstained - 58 countries in fact.  Only 24 voted against.  In the end, the resolution passed with a 2/3rd majority vote in favor of the resolution with 93 who voted in favor.

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