Fiji won a fierce contest to head the global rights group, but coalition of NGOs says repression and abuses domestically must be addressed

Fiji has won an intense and secretive geo-political battle to become the first Pacific island nation to win presidency of the United Nations Human Rights Council, but its ascension has come with demands from critics for it to address systemic rights abuses at home.

Overcoming last-minute challenges from Bahrain and Uzbekistan, both backed by China, Russia and Saudi Arabia, Fiji decisively won 29 out of 47 votes to take control of the powerful and influential global body.

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