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One week after Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi’s regime was suspended from the U.N.’s 47-nation Human Rights Council for “gross and systematic” violations, the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad declared it is running for a seat, in the upcoming May 20th elections.

“It’s an outrage,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a Geneva-based human rights group. “Gaddafi was just ousted by the UN on grounds that a government which brutalizes its own people doesn’t belong on the world’s highest human rights body. Well, the Assad regime runs a notorious police state that denies the Syrian people the right to free speech and freedom of assembly, jails journalists and tortures dissidents. It sponsors some of the world’s most vicious terrorist groups and has assassinated numerous journalists and opponents in Lebanon. The UN and the cause of human rights will be severely damaged if Syria’s Assad regime wins a seat.”

UN Watch called on the United States and the European Union to lead a vigorous campaign to defeat Syria’s candidacy.

Nicaragua, led by Daniel Ortega, a major Gadhafi supporter, also is seeking a seat.

Countries run for a seat in their own regions.

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