U.S. Ambassador David T. Killion spoke out as UNESCO’s human rights committee which was assembled in Paris this week to rule on individual human rights complaints—with Syria’s Assad regime as one of its 30 judges.
The Geneva-based watchdog group UN Watch congratulated Ambassador Killion and urged UNESCO to finally expel Assad from the panel.
“It is indefensible for the Syrian regime to be allowed to stand as a judge of other countries’ human rights records,” said Ambassador Killion in response to a question by UN Watch, which heads a global campaign of more than 50 parliamentarians, human rights and religious groups calling for Syria’s expulsion.
In a statement on Thursday, UN Watch called on France, Germany, the UK, the EU and the UN to speak out and take action to remove Syria from the UN committee.
“Having the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad as a global judge of human rights is like appointing a pyromaniac to be a firefighter,” said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer. “UNESCO is allowing the Assad regime to strut in Paris as a UN human rights arbiter. That’s immoral, indefensible, and an insult to Syria’s victims.”