U.N. rights body calls for open elections in Hong Kong

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 23, 2014 7:25 AM

GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations Human Rights Committee called on China on Thursday to ensure universal suffrage in Hong Kong, including the right to stand for election and not be subject to vetting.

The panel of 18 independent experts, who monitor compliance with an international treaty on civil and political rights, agreed the move at a meeting at which they voiced concern at Beijing's plan to vet candidates in the former British colony.

The committee agreed on "the need to ensure universal suffrage, which means both the right to be elected as well as the right to vote. The main concerns of Committee members were focused on the right to stand for elections without unreasonable restrictions," Konstantine Vardzelashvili, who chaired the session, said at its conclusion.

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editintg by Andrew Heavens)