Human rights groups and a growing number of governments are working to prevent Syria from being elected to the U.N.’s top human rights body, as President Bashar Assad’s security forces crack down on pro-democracy protesters.

Syria’s election to the Geneva-based Human Rights Council is all but assured as one of four candidates selected to fill four Asian seats unless another candidate enters the race or Syria fails to win a majority of votes in the May 20 election in the 192-member General Assembly.