The United Nations General Assembly voted on a resolution last April 7 that called to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council. The tally was split between 93 votes in favor, 24 opposed, and 58 abstained.

The session marked the continuation of emergency assemblies centered on the conflict in Ukraine. Last week, Russia was once again on the receiving end of criticism over alleged human rights violations after disturbing images from the Ukrainian city of Bucha emerged. The photos published depicted hundreds of bodies along the streets, some burnt and with bullet holes in the heads. Some reports also reveal that the Russians had tortured and raped several of their victims before leaving the city.

Votes in favor of the resolution were just shy above half of the UN membership but were enough to meet the two-thirds majority to pass. The group who voted in favor included the United States, NATO members, members of the European Union, most of Latin America, and a handful of Pacific island states.

A handful of the abstentions, by countries like Jordan, Mexico, India, Kuwait, and Qatar will raise eyebrows in the United States. The US has close relations with Jordan, Mexico, and Qatar that include military cooperation and extensive foreign aid, and Kuwait was the victim of Iraq in terms of war crimes committed against its civilians in the first Gulf War.

“Today, the international community took one collective step in the right direction,” United States Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said. “We ensured a persistent and egregious human rights violator will not be allowed to occupy a position of leadership on human rights at the UN.”

UN General Assembly vote tally to expel Russia from the UN Human Rights Council (Sergiy Kyslytsya). Source:
UN General Assembly vote tally to expel Russia from the UN Human Rights Council (Sergiy Kyslytsya/Twitter)