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THE UN Human Rights Council has urged Canada to conduct a national review of violence against aboriginal women, a debatable position that would normally not be offensive.

In this case, however, four of the countries that are criticizing Canada's human rights record aren't fit to stand in judgment of anyone, let alone Canada.

Cuba, Iran, Belarus and Russia are hardly sterling stewards of human rights in their own countries, so it is appalling that the United Nations provides them with a platform to strike out at Canada.

There's a principle in law that says a defendant shouldn't have to face trial on a charge if the accuser is guilty of the same thing. Iran, Cuba and the other human-rights abusers should be told to fix their own problems before pointing fingers at others.

It's not the first time a UN body has undermined its credibility by providing a platform for tyrants to lecture the democracies.

During the 2001 UN World Conference Against Racism, for example, Muslim and African nations hijacked the agenda to attack Israel.

Among other profanities, the Arab Lawyers Union distributed pamphlets filled with caricatures of hook-nosed Jews.

The issue here is not whether Canada should hold a national inquiry into violence against aboriginal women, which the country has debated, but why countries with weak human-rights records are granted a podium to slander and misrepresent democracies.

The Human Rights Council has done some good work, but there's no hope for it if its judgments can be influenced by the very nations that abhor the very concept of human rights.

Editorials are the consensus view of the Winnipeg Free Press’ editorial board, comprising Catherine Mitchell, David O’Brien, Shannon Sampert, and Paul Samyn.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 23, 2013 A8

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