By Ben Evansky, FoxNews.com
The brutal crackdown by Syrian President Bashar Assad may finally be getting the attention of world leaders — but apparently not enough to stop Syria from becoming the newest member of the U.N. Human Rights Council.
And despite calling for an independent investigation into the crackdown, which has left hundreds dead, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon apparently wonâ€™t do much about blocking Syriaâ€™s path to the human rights group.
“That’s not really for the secretary general to suggest to a member state,” Â said Martin Nesirky, a spokesman for the secretary-general, when asked if the U.N. chief would ask Syria to drop out of the running for the post. When asked if Ban had brought up the point during his telephone conversation April 9 with Assad, Nesirsky told Fox News, “that’s not really something the secretary general would raise specifically, because it’s for other member states to decide on the membership of the Human Rights Council.”
Ammar Abdulhamid, a Syrian human rights activist based in Washington, called on the secretary-general “to have a greater sense of decency and courage, and to realize that his position gives him a certain moral authority and puts him exactly in the position to tell the Assads that their candidacy at this stage is unwelcome.” Abdulhamid was forced to flee Syria in 2005 following criticism of the Assad regime, and still finds himself under attack by the regime. His website was recently hacked and now posts the latest videos and news on his blog (http://syrianrevolutiondigest.blogspot.com).
A State Department spokesman last week said the U.S. would oppose Syria’s bid to the Human Rights Council, calling it “inappropriate and hypocritical.” But it would seem Syria is virtually guaranteed a seat, having been selected as one of four candidates for the Asian bloc.
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