Date: 26 Dhul-Qadah 1443   Saturday 25 June 2022

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US to seek UN vote to kick Russia out of Human Rights Council

09:46 05 April 2022 Author :  

The US announced on Monday that it will seek a vote within the UN General Assembly for Russia's expulsion from the Human Rights Council (HRC).

"We cannot let a member state that is subverting every principle we hold dear to continue to participate in the HRC, nor should it hold a position of authority and use its seat on the council as a tool for propaganda," State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.

The announcement comes in the wake of chilling video and photo evidence that emerged over the weekend of apparent mass atrocities committed by Russian forces in Kyiv oblast prior to their pullout from the region.

A member can be removed from the HRC following a two-thirds vote within the General Assembly if a state is found to have engaged in a pattern of gross and systemic abuses.

The bodies of at least 410 civilians were recovered in the city of Bucha on Sunday, according to Ukraine's prosecutor-general. Russia has denied that its troops killed civilians while withdrawing from towns near Kyiv.

Ukraine has called on international organizations to send experts to the country as soon as possible to collect evidence of war crimes committed by Russian troops.

The State Department said the US is currently supporting a multinational team of international prosecutors who are in the region "to collect, preserve, and analyze evidence of atrocities with a view towards pursuing criminal accountability."

Earlier on Monday, US President Joe Biden called for Russian President Vladimir Putin to face a war crimes trial, saying he "should be held accountable."

The Russian war against Ukraine, which started on Feb. 24, has been met with international outrage, with the European Union, US, and UK among others implementing sweeping financial sanctions on Moscow.

At least 1,430 civilians have been killed in Ukraine and 2,097 injured, according to UN estimates, with the true figure feared to be far higher./aa

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