UN rights body recommends suspension of Libya

PTI United Nations | Updated on February 26, 2011 Published on February 26, 2011

The UN Human Rights Council has unanimously passed a resolution recommending suspension of Libya from the Geneva-based body and decided to conduct an independent probe into violations by the Gaddafi regime, which has launched a bloody crackdown on anti-government protesters.

The 47-nation body’s recommendation to suspend Libya needs to be approved by a two-thirds majority at the 192-member United Nations General Assembly here.

The UN’s top rights body also decided to “urgently dispatch an independent, international commission of inquiry... to investigate all alleged violations of international human rights law in Libya’’.

“It (the move) must now go further,” Mr Gerard Araud, French envoy to the UN, said here yesterday.

“We call on the president of the General Assembly to convene as soon as possible a session of the General Assembly to confirm its (Libya’s) suspension (from UN Human Rights Council).”

As the UN body in Geneva passed its resolution, the Libyan envoy there made an emotional public announcement of his defection.

“We in the Libyan mission have categorically decided to serve as representatives of the Libyan people and their free will,” the diplomat, who wished not to be named, told the Council, according to media reports.

“We only represent the Libyan people, we will serve as their representative in this august body and in other international fora.”

Meanwhile, the US Secretary of State, Mr Hillary Clinton, welcomed the move by the UN Human Rights Council, condemning human rights violations and violence committed by the Libyan government against its own people.

“We strongly support the Council’s establishment of an independent commission of inquiry to investigate these violations with a view towards ensuring that those responsible are held accountable,” Ms Clinton said in a statement.

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Published on February 26, 2011
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