Arab human rights group banned from UN for one year

The United Nations has suspended the Arab Commission for Human Rights from UN meetings for a year, following a complaint from Algeria. A man it accuses of belonging to a terrorist group spoke on behalf of the Arab human rights group during a review of its record last year, according to Algeria. The group's Geneva representative, Abdel Wahab Hani, said the speaker, Rachid Mesli, was an Algerian lawyer who was given political asylum in Switzerland after Amnesty International called him a prisoner of conscience in Algeria. He said the ban started Monday, following a February recommendation by 18 UN countries including Britain, Cuba, Egypt and Israel. The United States abstained.