UN Suspends Libya from Human Rights Council
The UN General Assembly suspended Libya from the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday over leader Muammar Qaddafi's brutal crackdown on the protests in his country.
The 192-member assembly passed a suspension resolution by consensus and without a vote. Nobody spoke up for Qaddafi during the debate, though Venezuela did call upon all countries to “put a stop to the invasion plans against Libya”, which Venezuelan Ambassador Jorge Valero claimed the United States was leading.
The resolution says that the General Assembly “decides to suspend the rights of membership in the Human Rights Council of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.” It goes on to express “deep concern about the human rights situation” in Libya.
The resolution also welcomes last week’s statement by the Arab League which suspended Libya from its session due to Qaddafi’s behavior. It also welcomes the communiqué issued by the Peace and Security Council of the African Union which had decided to dispatch an urgent fact-finding mission to Libya.
It comes after British Prime Minister David Cameron warned Qaddafi that his country is weighing military action to prevent the continued slaughter of anti-regime protesters. Cameron said that Britain may create a no-fly zone over Libya and send weapons to protesters, and may even send troops to Libya as a peacekeeping force.
U.S. officials made a similar announcement on Monday, saying that “all options” are open, including the creation of a no-fly zone. The U.S. military is moving naval and air forces closer to Libya, making it easier for President Barack Obama to order intervention.
The UN Security Council condemned last week the violence used against the protesters in Libya. All 15 members of the Security Council expressed “grave concern” at the situation in Libya and condemned the violence and use of force against civilians.
The council called for “an immediate end to the violence” and for steps to be taken in order to address the legitimate demands of the Libyan people. They also called on the Libyan government “to meet its responsibility to protect its population,” to act with restraint, and to respect human rights and international humanitarian law.
Qaddafi, meanwhile, has repeatedly refused to step down and has said that he will die in Libya as a martyr.