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U.N. chief rebuked for Israel support

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Islamic states criticized U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for condemning the singling out of Israel by the Human Rights Council, according to a Geneva-based watchdog group.

In a meeting in Geneva Wednesday, Pakistan, speaking on behalf of the Organization of Islamic States, reproached Ban for a statement last month saying he was “disappointed” at the council’s decision “to single out only one specific regional item given the range and scope of allegations of human rights violations throughout the world.” Ban did not mention Israel by name.

According to U.N. Watch, a watchdog group affiliated with the American Jewish Committee, Egypt also weighed in, calling Ban’s statement “a very unfortunate development.”

“We’re witnessing a dangerous attempt to censor the highest official of the United Nations, an effort to silence anyone who exposes the council’s repeated breaches of its own principles of equality, universality and non-selectivity,” said Hillel Neuer, the executive director of Human Rights Watch.

Ban’s statement was defended by the Canadian representative, according to U.N. Watch, who said “it would ill behoove this council to appear to be constraining or discouraging the exercise of freedom of opinion and expression, a fundamental freedom we are committed to uphold.”

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