WIKIPEDIA The Commission was repeatedly criticized for the composition of its membership. In particular, several of its member countries themselves had dubious human rights records, including states whose representatives have been elected to chair the commission. Another criticism was that the Commission did not engage in constructive discussion of human rights issues, but was a forum for politically selective finger-pointing and criticism. The desire of states with problematic human rights records to be elected to the Commission was viewed largely as a way to defend themselves from such attacks. Activist groups had long expressed concern over the memberships of the People's Republic of China, Zimbabwe, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan, and the past memberships of Algeria, Syria, Libya, and Vietnam on the Commission. These countries had extensive records of human rights violations, and one concern was that by working against resolutions on the commission condemning human rights violations, they indirectly promoted despotism and domestic repression. On May 4, 2004, United States ambassador Sichan Siv walked out of the Commission following the uncontested election of Sudan to the commission, calling it an "absurdity" in light of Sudan's ethnic cleansing in the Darfur region. One major consequence of the election of Sudan to the Commission was the lack of willingness for some countries to work through the commission. Indeed, on July 30, 2004, it was the United Nations Security Council, not the Commission, that passed a resolution? by 13?0, with China and Pakistan abstaining? threatening Sudan with unspecified sanctions if the situation in the Darfur region did not improve within the following 30 days. The reasons given for the action were the attacks by the Janjaweed Arab militias of Sudan on the non-Arab African Muslim population of Darfur, a region in western Sudan.
At least eight killed, 16 wounded in two car bombs in Iraq, police says (Reuters)
from the article: Noam Shalit to UN: If you endorse Goldstone, help free my son
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