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(Reuters) – A human rights group on Friday beat back a campaign by Vietnam to bar it from taking part in the work of United Nations bodies for three years on grounds it had links to terrorism. The 54-member U.N. Economic and Social Council rejected 20-22, with 11 abstentions, a resolution that would have suspended the Rome-based Transnational Radical Party from consultative status with the world body for three years. The vote was a setback for a growing number of U.N. members — such as China, Cuba, Libya and Zimbabwe, themselves targets of human rights groups — that have banded together to exclude Western human rights groups from accreditation. In the case of the Transnational Radical Party, Vietnam accused it of repeatedly including Kok Ksor, President of the Montagnard Foundation, in its delegation to annual meetings of the U.N. HumanRights Commission in Geneva . Ksor, who lives in Spartanburg , South Carolina , and his Montagnard Foundation champion the rights of the Montagnard people of Vietnam ‘s Central Highlands, who accuse the Vietnamese authorities of political persecution. “If they suspend the Transnational Radical Party, that means their accusations that I am a terrorist will be true with the government, and it will give them a license to kill those in Vietnam who support my cause,” Ksor said before the vote. “What we are seeing here is countries from the nonaligned movement getting stronger and stronger and able to block a range of human rights issues,” said Matteo Mecacci, the group’s representative at the United Nations.