October 14, 2020, 04.11 PM

UNITED NATIONS, KOMPAS.com – Saudi Arabia was denied a UN Human Rights Council seat on Tuesday while China and Russia were elected to three-year terms.

Saudi Arabia’s failed UNHRC bid was a blow to the kingdom’s attempts to improve its image in the international community.

"The #HRC elections today delivered a stunning rebuke to #SaudiArabia under Mohammed bin Salman," tweeted Bruno Stagno, a deputy executive director at Human Rights Watch, referring to the country's crown prince.

Read also: Saudi Arabia to Host Virtual G20 Summit in November

"Only country not elected, shunned by a majority of the UN. The kingdom reaped what it deserves for its serious violations of human rights and war crimes abroad," he added.

The UN Human Rights Council has been criticized by rights organizations and the US for electing countries accused of human rights violations.

In 2020, 15 seats were up for grabs on the 47-seat UNHRC body. However, only four of the 15 spots were contested — all in Asia-Pacific.

Read also: Indonesia, Saudi Arabia Discuss Yemen Crisis

China received 139 votes in the secret ballot, a dramatic fall from the 180 votes that it received when they were last elected in 2016.

"Shows more states are disturbed by China's abysmal rights record," tweeted Louis Charbonneau, UN Director at Human Rights Watch.

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