UN rights chief slams critics of 'Durban II' conference

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay charged Friday that there was a "highly organized and widespread campaign of disinformation" to undermine the global body's second racism meeting. Navi Pillay said critics who described the meeting as hate-filled used "hyperbole," though she declined to identify these critics. The week-long conference in Geneva started on a sour note Monday when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused the West of using the Holocaust as a "pretext" to harm the Palestinians. This prompted protests from Jewish groups and a walkout by 23 European countries. Pillay told reporters that critics of the conference had caused supportive countries such as Germany to drop out at the last minute.