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UNITED STATES President Donald Trump has caused international outrage over his decision to withdraw from the United Nations Human Rights Council, after the administration branded it a “cesspool of political bias.”
US envoy to the United Nations Nikki Haley said the Geneva-based body was “hypocritical” and makes a “mockery of human rights” with an “unending hostility towards Israel.”
UN human rights spokesman Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said he was disappointed but not surprised by the news.
“Given the state of human rights in today's world, the US should be stepping up, not stepping back,” he said.
The UNHRC was established in 2006, replacing the UN Commission on Human Rights which had been criticised for allowing countries with poor human rights records to become members.
The 47-member organisation was boycotted by then president George W Bush but the US rejoined in 2009 under the Obama administration.
It has come under criticism by human rights groups for allowing countries including Saudi Arabia to join despite their appalling records.
However, the US decided that criticism of Israel over its treatment of Palestinians, including the shooting dead in cold blood of unarmed protesters in April and May, was “hard to accept” and announced its withdrawal.
The decision comes as the US faces intense criticism for its treatment of child migrants, with hundreds kept in cages at warehouses on the Mexican border having been separated from their parents.
Mr Trump’s policy has drawn comparison with nazi Germany when Jewish children were taken from their parents at concentration camps.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) accused the Trump regime of an “abusive use of power at home,” warning that the US President “is leading a concerted, aggressive effort to violate basic human rights of those most in need of protection.”
However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the US for its “courageous decision against the hypocrisy and the lies of the so-called UN Human Rights Council.”
American Federation of Teachers (AFT) president Randi Weingarten filed an official human rights complaint against Mr Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen and the administration at the UN today “for their cruel behaviour at the border, where they’re separating immigrant children from their families who are legally seeking asylum.”
Ms Weingarten said Mr Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy was “terrorising immigrant communities,” claiming it amounted to child abuse.
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