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US Urged to Act Upon its Own Human Rights

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley (2L) leaves after addressing the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, June 6, 2017.

A top civil liberties defender is urging the United States to "practice what it preaches" on human rights after U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley addressed the U.N.'s main human rights body.

The American Civil Liberties Union says in a statement that it's "hard to take Ambassador Haley seriously on U.S. support for human rights in light of Trump administration actions like the Muslim ban and immigration crackdowns.''

The ACLU called on the U.S. to make human rights a priority at home, and then could it "begin to credibly demand the same of other countries abroad."

In a brief address earlier, Haley urged reform of the 47-member body, criticized its "chronic anti-Israel bias" and said "no human rights violator" should be allowed a seat.

She also indicated that the U.S. sees "areas for significant strengthening'' of the council, and was "looking carefully'' at whether it would still participate.

John Fisher of Human Rights Watch said the U.S. "only achieves its stated reforms by engaging, not by walking away."

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations has decried the "rapidly deteriorating human rights situation" in Venezuela, and says its government should withdraw from the U.N. Human Rights Council if it can't address the problem.