Search Results for 'Libya'

From the Archives: Qaddafi’s Libya wins presidency of UN human rights commission

qaddafiThe UN falsely claims that nothing could have been done to stop the world’s most misogynistic regime from being allowed to head a UN human rights committee that selects experts. In 2003, that’s the same line they tried to push in defense of electing Qaddafi’s Libyan regime — except the American government showed then that in fact it could challenge the system and call a vote. Sadly, Europe refused to join the US (only Canada and Guatemala did), and the rest is history.

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UN Press Release  — 20 January 2003

COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS ELECTS CHAIRPERSON AND BUREAU FOR FIFTY-NINTH SESSION

Najat Al-Hajjaji of Libya Elected Chairperson by Secret Ballot
of 33 in Favor and 3 Opposed, with 17 Abstentions
The Commission on Human Rights — meeting this morning under a new procedure two months in advance of its annual six-week session — elected Najat Al-Hajjaji of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya as Chairperson for 2003, along with three Vice-Chairpersons and a Rapporteur.
Ms. Al-Hajjaji was elected by a secret ballot of 33 in favour and 3 opposed, with 17 abstaining among the Commission’s 53 member countries.

The vote, requested by the United States, was unusual — Chairpersons are usually elected by acclamation.

In an address following the ballot, Ms. Al-Hajjaji said among other things that the Commission must send a message that it would deal with human rights in all countries, and not just some of them; that it would take into account in its activities the world’s many different religious, cultural and historical backgrounds; and that among its tasks was to affirm the universality, indivisibility, and complementarity of human rights Continue reading ‘From the Archives: Qaddafi’s Libya wins presidency of UN human rights commission’

Libya Tells UN Rights Council: “Gays threaten continuation of human race”

Libya’s post-suspension return marked by Islamist policy on gays

GENEVA, Feb. 13 – Gays threaten the continuation of the human race, Libya’s delegate told a planning meeting of the UN Human Rights Council today, reported the Geneva-based UN Watch monitoring group. It was the first appearance in the 47-nation body by the post-Gaddafi government, whose membership was restored in November following Libya’s suspension in March.

Protesting the council’s first panel discussion on discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation, scheduled for March 7th, Libya’s representative told the gathering of ambassadors today that LGBT topics “affect religion and the continuation and reproduction of the human race.” He added that, were it not for their suspension, Libya would have opposed the council’s June 2011 resolution on the topic.

In response, council president Laura Dupuy Lasserre said that “the Human Rights Council is here to defend human rights and prevent discrimination.”

The Libyan outburst prompted questions by human rights activists about Libya’s reinstatement on the council. Continue reading ‘Libya Tells UN Rights Council: “Gays threaten continuation of human race”’

Libya returns to the UN Human Rights Council

The UN General Assembly voted on Friday to end  Libya’s suspension from the UN Human Rights Council. Chavez & Co. opposed the move,  in a post-mortem show of solidarity with brother Col. Qaddafi.  See vote below. Continue reading ‘Libya returns to the UN Human Rights Council’

UN Security Council Resolution 1973 on Libya

UN Security Council Resolution 1973 on Libya creating a no-fly zone and authorizing “all necessary measures” — i.e. air strikes — to protect civilians.

UN rights chief backs Qaddafi rep, refuses to fire Libyan “expert on mercenaries”

GENEVA, March 10 – U.N. rights chief Navi Pillay today rejected growing calls to fire Ms. Najat Al-Hajjaji, a long-time representative of the Qaddafi regime, from her post as the UN Human Rights Council’s investigator on human rights violations by mercenaries, which many see as a cruel irony.

Objections to the Libyan’s U.N. position originated last week in Morocco’s Au Fait, and spread to Switzerland, Al-Hajjaji’s adopted home, in the Tribune de Geneve, 20minutes, and the Tages Anzeiger, as well as America’s Fox News and other newspapers and blogs.

However, Pillay, the U.N.’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, speaking about Al-Hajjaji today in a discussion forum held on the sidelines of the council’s current session, said, “It is unfair to single her out.” Continue reading ‘UN rights chief backs Qaddafi rep, refuses to fire Libyan “expert on mercenaries”’

UN rights chief faulted for prior silence on Libyan abuses

GENEVA, March 3 – UN rights chief Navi Pillay was criticized in the plenary of the UN Human Rghts Council today for allegedly ignoring Libyan human rights violations prior to the current crisis, and for her alleged silence when the UN legitimized the Qaddafi regime through a series of appointments to key human rights and world bodies.

In her response to questions posed by UN member states and NGOs, she declined to answer the queries made to her in the council plenary today by UN Watch, a Geneva-based human rights monitoring group.  See UN Watch statement below. Continue reading ‘UN rights chief faulted for prior silence on Libyan abuses’

UN Watch’s 9-month Campaign to Expel Libya From the UN Human Rights Council

  • May 2010: UN Watch leads 37 NGOs in a protest on the eve of Libya’s election to the UNHRC, with a widely covered media event at UN Headquarters in New York, and a mass email campaign. Countries are urged to oppose Qaddafi’s candidacy. Instead, in a secret ballot, the UN elects Libya by a landslide of 155 out of 192 UNGA votes. UN Watch warns on Swiss TV that Qaddafi’s government is a “murderous and racist regime.” Not a single country speaks out against Libya’s candidacy or election.
  • September 2010: Libya takes its seat at the council. UN Watch launches a global campaign, supported by 30 NGOs, and victims of Libyan abuses, to remove the Qaddafi regime. To confront the Libyans in the plenary UN Watch brings Bob Monetti, whose 20-year-old son was murdered in Libya’s 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103; Mohamed Eljahmi, brother of slain dissident Fathi Eljahmi; Kristyana Valcheva, one of the five Bulgarian nurses who were framed, imprisoned and tortured for eight years on false charges of poisoning children with HIV; and Ashraf El-Hajouj, the Palestinian doctor framed and tortured together with the nurses. The Libyans and their allied regimes rudely interrupt the speakers. The incident and the victims’ appeal to remove Libya is widely covered by dedicated stories in Voice of America and Agence France Presse, and by a cover story in Sweden’s Neo magazine. “The HRC grants legitimacy to ‘murderous’ Gadaffi regime,” reported Radio Netherlands on UN Watch’s campaign. Yet the UN council and its member states stay silent.
  • November 2010: When Libya’s abysmal human rights record is addressed under the council’s universal review procedure, UN Watch renews its call for the Qaddafi regime to be removed. The appeal is reported by Germany’s DPASwissinfo and elsewhere. Yet the UN council and its member states stay silent.
  • February 21, 2011: Working closely with Libyan dissident Mohamed Eljahmi — who sounds the alarm on massive atrocities being committed by the Qaddafi regime — UN Watch spearheads an international appeal by 70 human rights groups to remove Libya. The plea for UN action is covered around the world. Three days later, the EU requests a special session of the Human Rights Council, but fails to contest Libya’s council membership.
  •  February 25, 2011: The EU amends its draft, and the UN Human Rights Council votes to recommend Libya be suspended from its membership.
  • March 1, 2011: The UN General Assembly unanimously decides to suspend Libya’s membership from the council.

UN Watch has been the leading voice at the United Nations challenging Libyan human rights abuses for many years. To see videos, click here.

Libyan report to UN: We protect all rights and freedoms

More quotes below from the UN Human Rights Council’s report on Libya, scheduled for adoption in the current March session. See our previous post here.

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Summary

During the interactive dialogue, statements were made by 46 delegations. A number of delegations commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for the preparation and presentation of its national report, noting the broad consultation process with stakeholders in the preparation phase.  Several delegations also noted with appreciation the country’s commitment to upholding human rights on the ground… Continue reading ‘Libyan report to UN: We protect all rights and freedoms’

Text released: Draft UNGA resolution to suspend Libya from rights council

UN Watch urges the UN General Assembly to immediately adopt the draft resolution below, which has been circulated by diplomats in New York.

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 60/251 of 15 March 2006, in particular OP8 which states that the General Assembly may suspend the rights of membership in the Human Rights Council of a member of the Council that commits gross and systematic violations of human rights,

Noting Human Rights Council resolution XXXX of 25 February 2011,

Welcoming the statement issued by the League of Arab States on 22 February 2011 and the Communiqué of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union on 23 February 2011,

Expresses deep concern with the human rights situation in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,

1. Decides to suspend the rights of membership in the Human Rights Council of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya;

2. Decides to review the matter, as appropriate.

Defecting Libyan diplomat same who silenced UN testimony of victims

Adel Shaltut, Second Secretary at the Libya U.N. mission in Geneva, defected before the U.N. Human Rights council yesterday and denounced the Qaddafi regime. Yet just months ago the same Adel Shaltut tried to silence Libya victims brought by UN Watch:

Chronology: The NGO Campaign to Remove Libya From the UN Human Rights Council

 

  • May 2010: UN Watch leads 37 NGOs in a protest on the eve of Libya’s election to the UNHRC, with a widely covered media event at UN Headquarters in New York, and a mass email campaign. Countries are urged to oppose Qaddafi’s candidacy. Instead, in a secret ballot, the UN elects Libya by a landslide of 155 out of 192 UNGA votes. UN Watch warns on Swiss TV that Qaddafi’s government is a “murderous and racist regime.” Not a single country speaks out against Libya’s candidacy or election.

Continue reading ‘Chronology: The NGO Campaign to Remove Libya From the UN Human Rights Council’

NGO Campaign to Remove Libya welcomes new EU draft; but real action needed to stop killings

 

 

GENEVA, February 24, 2010 – UN Watch, which heads the Global NGO Campaign to Remove Libya from the UN Human Rights Council, welcomed a new EU draft for tomorrow’s meeting that calls for suspension of the Qaddafi regime from the world’s top human rights body. Click here for text of EU’s new draft resolution.

“The original draft ignored the fact that Libya’s council membership is a moral obscenity that must be rectified immediately,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a Geneva-based human rights group, and an international lawyer who represents Libyan torture victims. “After our objections were widely published, the EU thankfully revised their draft. We’re also grateful that that our other demands were met — for a special session, an international inquiry, and required follow-up at the March and June sessions.”    Continue reading ‘NGO Campaign to Remove Libya welcomes new EU draft; but real action needed to stop killings’

UN’s “Middle East focus” on Israel only; erases Iran, Libya, Bahrain, Egypt, Syria…

Click on the website of the UN News Center,  and you’ll find a “Middle East” regional focus link. Except that when you go to check out the news on the Middle East, all of the state killings, violent crackdowns and oppression in Libya, Iran, Egypt,  Bahrain, Yemen, Algeria, Syria, and so forth, are all erased. There’s nothing. Instead, it’s all about Israel. This is not a new scandal — just one that’s made more outrageous by the scale of recent events. UN Watch urges the UN to redress their gross neglect of the rights of 350 million Middle East citizens.  Continue reading ‘UN’s “Middle East focus” on Israel only; erases Iran, Libya, Bahrain, Egypt, Syria…’

EU’s Libya resolution should directly condemn Qaddafi

GENEVA, February 23, 2010 – UN Watch, which spearheaded this week’s successful appeal by 70 human rights groups for an urgent UN Human Rights Council session on Libya, expressed disappointment with a draft resolution circulated today by the EU (see draft text below) in advance of Friday’s meeting.

“We appreciate that the EU incorporated our requests for an international investigation and for keeping the issue on the council’s agenda in the upcoming March and June sessions. Yet the draft unacceptably falls short of condemning Moammar Qaddafi, and fails to call for Libya’s removal from the council,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a Geneva-based human rights group.

“We urge EU foreign minister Catherine Ashton, as well as the leaders of France, Germany and the UK, to exercise moral leadership and remedy these glaring omissions.”

“First, the moral outrage of Libya’s membership on the world’s top human rights body must end immediately. World public opinion will no longer tolerate this. Even the Arab League ejected Libya. The council must take action under Article 8 of its founding charter and issue a finding that Libya is committing gross and systematic violations of human rights, and call for the regime to be suspended by the General Assembly,” said Neuer. “With bodies piling up on the streets of Libya, the EU and the international community must not stay silent on this pernicious moral hypocrisy.”

“Second, the EU must explain why its draft — contrary to normal council practice on condemnatory resolutions –studiously avoids naming the Libyan government or its leader as the perpetrators of the ongoing atrocities. Make no mistake: this resolution makes no condemnation of Moammar Qaddafi. Instead, the EU offers deliberately vague condemations of violations committed ‘in Libya’, or calls for Libyan authorities to stop ‘any violations,’ falsely implying that someone other than Qaddafi’s regime may be responsible for the atrocities. Yet the helicopter gunships, soldiers and mercenaries firing on civilians are all under the command of the Qaddafi regime. Now is the time for moral clarity, not weasel words and diplomatic obfuscation.” Continue reading ‘EU’s Libya resolution should directly condemn Qaddafi’

Mother of all hypocrisies: Iran asks UN rights council to investigate Libya, Bahrain, Yemen for shooting protesters

Mother of all hypocrisies: Iran tells UN rights council to condemn Libya, Bahrain, Yemen for shooting peaceful protesters. Have these Mullahs no shame?

“Iran called for the UN Human Rights Council to form a committee to examine [the] situation in Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain and Libya,” reported the state-sponsored ISNA news agency today.

“The Head of Iranian Parliament Human Rights Committee Zohreh Elahian in a letter to the UN Human Rights Council President Sihasak Phuangketkeow urged formation of a committee to examine [the] situation in Bahrain, Bahrain, Yemen and Libya to find cases of human rights violations. She then demanded that criminals be introduced to the court to stand trial.”

“Fire is opened on people of the countries who are staging civil and peaceful anti-government protests only to revive their natural and lawful rights,” the letter read. “Iranian Parliament Human Rights Committee condemns violence against these people by their rulers and supports certain rights of protestors,” it read.

Francis Fukuyama supports call for US and EU to convene UN Security Council on Libya

The philosopher Francis Fukuyama has endorsed our appeal for the US and the EU to convene the UN Security Council to protect Libya’s victims, and to suspend Libya from the UN Human Rights Council.  Also supporting our call is Mohamed Eljahmi, the noted Libyan human rights defender and brother of slain dissident Fathi Eljahmi.

24 rights groups urge US and EU to confront Libyan massacres in UN Security Council and Human Rights Council

NGOs demand Libya’s suspension from UNHRC; UN Watch calls for urgent dispatch of medical supplies to hospitals

GENEVA, February 20, 2010 – An international coalition of 24 rights groups urged world powers to convene the UN Security Council and the Human Rights Council to protect Libyan civilians from government killings, in a letter sent today to the U.S., the EU and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.  (See full text below)

Signatories include the U.S.-based National Endowment for Democracy and Physicians for Human Rights, the Geneva-based UN Watch, and 21 other groups from Switzerland, India, Liberia, Italy, Nigeria, Germany, Sudan, Venezuela, Somalia, Thailand, and the United Kingdom.

The letter asserts that the widespread atrocities committed by Libya against its own people are “particularly odious” actions that amount to war crimes, requiring member states to take action through the Security Council under the responsibility to protect doctrine.

The appeal also calls for an emergency session of the Human Rights Council, in which Libya’s membership on that body would be suspended, and an international inquiry team dispatched to he country. Continue reading ’24 rights groups urge US and EU to confront Libyan massacres in UN Security Council and Human Rights Council’

Urgent NGO Appeal to World Leaders to Stop Atrocities in Libya

Urgent Appeal to World Leaders to Stop Atrocities in Libya

We urge you to mobilize the United Nations and the international community to take immediate action to halt the mass atrocities now being perpetrated by the Libyan government against its own people. The inexcusable silence cannot continue.

As you know, in the past several days, Colonel Moammar Gadhafi’s forces are estimated to have deliberately killed hundreds of peaceful protesters and innocent bystanders across the country. In the city of Benghazi alone, one doctor reported seeing at least 200 dead bodies. Witnesses report that a mixture of special commandos, foreign mercenaries and regime loyalists have attacked demonstrators with knives, assault rifles and heavy-caliber weapons. 

Snipers are shooting peaceful protesters. Artillery and helicopter gunships have been used against crowds of demonstrators. Thugs armed with hammers and swords attacked families in their homes. Hospital officials report numerous victims shot in the head and chest, and one struck on the head by an anti-aircraft missile. Tanks are reported to be on the streets and crushing innocent bystanders. Witnesses report that mercenaries are shooting indiscriminately from helicopters and from the top of roofs. Women and children were seen jumping off Giuliana Bridge in Benghazi to escape. Many of them were killed by the impact of hitting the water, while others were drowned.  The Libyan regime is seeking to hide all of these crimes by shutting off contact with the outside world. Foreign journalists have been refused entry. Internet and phone lines have been cut or disrupted.

There is no question here about intent. The government media has published open threats, promising that demonstrators would meet a “violent and thunderous response.”

Accordingly, the government of Libya is committing gross and systematic violations of the right to life as guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Citizens seeking to exercise their rights to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly are being massacred by the government.

Moreover, the government of Libya is committing crimes against humanity, as defined by the Explanatory Memorandum to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The Libyan government’s mass killing of innocent civilians amount to particularly odious offences which constitute a serious attack on human dignity. As confirmed by numerous oral and video testimonies gathered by human rights organizations and news agencies, the Libyan government’s assault on its civilian population are not isolated or sporadic events. Rather, these actions constitute a widespread and systematic policy and practice of atrocities, intentionally committed, including murder, political persecution and other inhumane acts which reach the threshold of crimes against humanity.

Under the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document, you have a clear and unambiguous responsibility to protect the people of Libya. The international community, through the United Nations, has the responsibility to use appropriate diplomatic, humanitarian and other peaceful means, in accordance with Chapters VI and VIII of the Charter, to help to protect the Libyan population. Because the Libyan national authorities are manifestly failing to protect their population from crimes against humanity, should peaceful means be inadequate, member states are obliged to take collective action, in a timely and decisive manner, through the Security Council, in accordance with the UN Charter, including Chapter VII.

In addition, we urge you to convene an emergency Special Session of the UN Human Rights Council, whose members have a duty, under UNGA Resolution 60/251, to address situations of gross and systematic violations of violations of human rights.  The session should: 

  1. Suspend Libya’s Council membership, pursuant to Article 8 of Resolution 60/251, due to its commission of gross and systematic violations of human rights.
  2. Strongly condemn, and demand immediate end to, Libya’s massacre of its own citizens.
  3. Dispatch immediately an international mission of independent experts to collect relevant facts and document violations of international human rights law and crimes against humanity, in order to end the impunity of the Libyan government. The mission should include an independent medical investigation into the deaths, and an investigation of the unlawful interference by the Libyan government with the access to and treatment of wounded.
  4. Call on the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights and all of the Council’s relevant Special Procedures to closely monitor the situation and take action as needed.
  5. Call on the Council to remain seized of the matter and address the Libyan situation at its upcoming 16th regular session in March.

Member states and high officials of the United Nations have a responsibility to protect the people of Libya from what are preventable crimes. We urge you to use all available measures and levers to end atrocities throughout the country. We urge you to send a clear message that collectively the international community, the Security Council and the Human Rights Council will not be bystanders to these mass atrocities. Both the credibility of the United Nations and many innocent lives are at stake.

Sincerely,

  1. Hillel Neuer, United Nations Watch, Switzerland
  2. Libyan League for Human Rights
  3. Bhawani Shanker Kusum, Gram Bharati Samiti, India
  4. Carl Gershman, President, The National Endowment for Democracy, USA
  5. G. Jasper Cummeh, III, Actions for Genuine Democratic Alternatives, Liberia
  6. A. Frank Donaghue, Physicians for Human Rights, USA
  7. Michel Monod, International Fellowship of Reconciliation, Switzerland
  8. Esohe Aghatise, Associazione Iroko Onlus, Italy
  9. Harris O. Schoenberg, UN Reform Advocates, USA
  10. Myrna Lachenal, World Federation for Mental Health, Switzerland
  11. Nguyên Lê Nhân Quyên, Vietnamese League for Human Rights, Switzerland
  12. Sylvia G. Iriondo, Mothers and Women against Repression (M.A.R. Por Cuba), USA
  13. David Littman, World Union for Progressive Judaism, Switzerland
  14. Barrister Festus Okoye, Executive Director, Human Rights Monitor, Nigeria
  15. Theodor Rathgeber, Forum Human Rights, Germany
  16. Derik Uya Alfred, Kwoto Cultural Center, Juba – Southern Sudan
  17. Carlos E Tinoco, Consorcio Desarrollo y Justicia, A.C., Venezuela
  18. Abdurashid Abdulle Abikar, Center for Youth and Democracy, Somalia
  19. Dr. Vanee Meisinger, Pan Pacific and South East Asia Women’s Association, Thailand
  20. Simone Abel, René Cassin
  21. Dr. Francois Ullmann, Ingenieurs du Monde, Switzerland
  22. Sr Catherine Waters, Catholic International Education Office, USA

Latest update on Libyan uprising and massacre

The following update was distributed by Libyan dissident Mohamed Eljahmi, who now lives in the US.

Appeal by Libyan journalist Abdalla Baarasi to journalists,  human rights organizations and all supporters of liberty and freedom:

I just listened to a call for help on Aljazeera from Libyan journalist Abdala Baarassi.  He is based in the city of Al-Baida.  His phone call with Aljazeera was cut off shortly after he issued an emotional appeal with his voice quivering.   Mr. Baraasi appealed for urgent help for the people of Baida and Cyrene. In his quivering voice, “Please help save our people in Baida and Cyrene.” He maintained that there are dozens of dead in Baida and that mercenaries and security forces have attacked the city. According to Mr. Baraasi the regime is imposing a blockade on Baida with helicopters flying over and the city’s hospitals have an acute shortage of medical supplies.

City of Benghazi:

1-The Egyptian scenario is being repeated, army has reportedly entered the city. Police and Security reportedly have disappeared from the streets.

2-Phone landlines have been cut off and mobile service was reportedly cut off two hours ago.

3-Rebellion in Al-Kiwaifia prison and prisoners escaped.  Al-Kiwaifia is a prison for violent crimes like murder and armed robberies.  There are also reports that Libyan Security has paid felons and escapees and promised to clean their records in exchange for committing violence against demonstrators.

4-Nearly 30 civilians have been reportedly killed yesterday by State Security. There was a mass funeral today attended by thousands for those who died. There are unknown number of injured and arrested.

5-Snipers were positioned on rooftops especially Tebisti hotel near downtown Benghazi.

6-Thousands, including lawyers demonstrated and camped in front of Northern Benghazi Court.  Demonstrators called for the creation of a constitution.

7-Major General El-Saadi Qadhafi, the dictator’s flaky third son arrived in Benghazi last night.  He went on radio with this announcement, “The Leader ordered me to come here and he is listening to me now.  Please give me support and resources.  I brought my clothes with me and have sent for more clothes to be brought.  I love Benghazi, its people and streets.  I am here with a mandate that is outside the authority of the General People’s Committee and if anyone comes close to Benghazi, I will punish him,  To the youth of Benghazi, I have lots of surprises.  Your demands are not even close to 20% of the goodies I have for you.  I ask you to go to sleep and we will talk seriously in the morning.”

8-Hundreds of mercenaries were transported to Benghazi.  Reports indicate they ultimately are under the control of Khamis Qadhafi.

9-Crowds in Benghazi are chanting for Qadhafi’s execution – “The Libyan people have had enough, time for Qadhafi to head to Jeddah”, “We don’t want Qadhafi or his sons, Benghazi has its own men.”, “Wake up Benghazi, Wake up Benghazi, your day has arrived”, “The people want the execution of the Colonel.”

10-There are widespread arrests and especially against people who spoke to Satellite stations.

11-Authorities have instructed hospitals to cease treating injured demonstrators.

City of Al-Baida:

It is located eastern of Benghazi and is now experiencing an extreme assault from air and the ground by State Security and mercenaries. 

1-At least 24 people were reportedly killed by mercenaries and State Security.

2-City hospitals have acute shortage of medical supplies to treat the injured.

3-Activists are calling upon human rights organization for help in pressuring the Libyan regime to stop its brutality against the people of Al-Baida.

4-There are reports that Labrak airport has been shut down and taken over by demonstrators.

City of Ijdabia:

It is located 165 KM west of Benghazi:

1-Demonstrations broke out and there are reports of 2 dead.

Cities of Zintan and Rijban:

Located in the Western Mountain region of Libya, State Security and Revolutionary Committees have reportedly fled the city and the regime has sent tribal representatives to bribe the elders of Zintan and Rijban.  Regime interlocutors offered to give large sums of money to every youth.  The interlocutors were reportedly rebuffed and told that the revolution will continue until Qadhafi’s fall.

City of Cyrene [Shahat]:

Located near Al-Baida, four people have been reportedly killed.

City of Tobruk:

Coastal eastern city, head quarter of the local Revolutionary Committee was burned down.

City of Derna:

Eastern coastal city.  There are reports of demonstrations and clashes.

Brother of Slain Dissident Outraged at Libya’s Joining U.N. Human Rights Council

NGO Panel Event at United Nations European Headquarters, Geneva
“Libya on the UN Human Rights Council”
Hosted by UN Watch, September 16, 2010

Thanks to UN Watch and Freedom House. I am honored to be here with you to speak about my late brother Fathi Eljahmi and his struggle to advance democratic reform and human rights in Libya.

Libya’s long night began on September 1, 1969, when Muammar Qadhafi led a coup, which overthrew a constitutional Monarchy.  At the time, Libya was a young country trying to find its way.  It wasn’t perfect but it was in a much better shape than the Libya today.

Today, in Qadhafi’s Libya, political parties are banned and memberships in independent labor unions or parties are crimes punishable by death.  There is also the Collective Punishment law or “Honor Law”, where the State has the right to punish family, city or an entire region for the wrong doing of individual(s).

In Libya, the fulfillments of citizens needs are tied to their absolute and unquestioning loyalty to Mr. Qadhafi. Ordinary Libyans are accountable to a vast security apparatus. Their actions are scrutinized by Orwellian institutions. Should they fail scrutiny, they face Qadhafi’s ruthless death squads, the “Revolutionary Committees”.

Continue reading ‘Brother of Slain Dissident Outraged at Libya’s Joining U.N. Human Rights Council’

Global NGO Campaign to Remove Libya from the UN Human Rights Council

panel
The election of the Libyan Arab Jamahariya to the United Nations Human Rights Council is an outrage to the global human rights community. Given its notorious record as one of the world’s worst violators of human rights, the Qaddafi regime’s membership on the Council flies in the face of the United Nations’ promise, enshrined in Resolution 60/251 (2006), to elect member states that are committed to the promotion and protection of human rights.

As a global coalition of non-governmental organizations dedicated to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we refuse to remain silent. We call on the international community to invoke Article 8 of the aforementioned resolution, which provides for the suspension of membership of states that commit systematic violations of human rights, unless and until the Qaddafi regime:

·  Ends its systematic violation of the right to life, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, the right to equality, the right to peaceful assembly, and the right to free political organization;

·  Ends its practices of arbitrary arrest, torture, and discrimination against minorities, in particular, the persecution of two million black African migrants;

·  Acknowledges its crimes committed against the six medical workers, who were framed in 1998 under false charges of poisoning children with HIV, and then imprisoned, tortured, and sentenced to death row; apologizes; and provides full compensation to the six victims;

·  Acknowledges its crimes in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, and ceases to celebrate the convicted Libyan agent who was released from prison last year;

·   Agrees to an international, independent investigation into the imprisonment and torture of Libyan human rights activist and dissident Fathi Eljahmi, resulting finally in his death in 2009; and

·   Agrees to an international, independent investigation into the massacre of an estimated 1200 prisoners of the Abu Salim prison.

Robert Monetti
Victims of Pan Am 103 Association

Dr. Mohamed M. Bugaighis
American Libyan Freedom Alliance

Hillel C. Neuer
United Nations Watch, Switzerland

Franck Kamunga
Droits Humains Sans Frontieres

Bart Woord
International Federation of Liberal Youth

Khaled Ghawi
Association of Libya Imal / Libya Future

Mamadi Kaba
African Assembly for the Defense of Human Rights (Raddho-Guinee)

Amina Bouayach
Moroccan Organization for Human Rights (OMDH)

Mike Gesa Munabi
Students for Global Democracy Uganda

Gibreil I. M. Hamid
Darfur Peace and Development Center

Dr. Theodor Rathgeber
Forum Human Rights, Germany

Siaka Coulibaly
Burkina Faso Civil Society Organizations Network for Development

Tilder Kumichii Ndichia
Gender Empowerment and Development

Kok Ksor
The Montagnard Foundation

Ulrich Delius
Society for Threatened Peoples, Germany

Harris O. Schoenberg
UN Reform AdvocatesMaría José Zamora Solórzano
Movimiento por Nicaragua 

Sister Catherine C. Waters
Catholic International Education Office (OIEC)

Sylvia G. Iriondo
Mothers & Women Against Repression

Mrs. C. Gautam
Nepal International Consumers Union

Logan Maurer
International Christian Concern

Obinna Egbuka
Youth Enhancement Organization, Nigeria

Virginia S. Mueller
International Association of Women Lawyers

Dickson Mugendi David Ntwiga
Solidarity House International

Robert Triozzi
Chief, FRDP

Klaus Netter
Main Representative, CBJO

Armand Azoulai
Main Representative, BBI

Dr. Marlette Black
International Presentation Association

U.S. SENATOR MENENDEZ’S STATEMENT ON U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL SEATING OF LIBYAN REPRESENTATIVE

[Ed. Note: The following statement was issued in support of UN Watch’s campaign, launched today, to remove Libya from the UN Human Rights Council.]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 16, 2010

CONTACT:
Menendez Press Office (202) 224-4744

WASHINGTON – Last May Libya was elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council, the UN body that promotes the protection of human rights and denounces human rights violations.  Libya is expected to take its seat on the Council in Geneva on Thursday. Senator Menendez, a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, issued the following statement:

“The election of Libya to the United Nations’ group that promotes human rights around the globe is deplorable,” said Senator Menendez. “Not only has Libya historically scoffed at efforts to protect the rights of others, it places no value on the mandate that guides the Council, promoting universal respect for the protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction of any kind and in a fair and equal manner.” 

“It has placed little value on Libyan lives, conducting arbitrary arrests and torture, thwarting freedom of speech, and political organization. I am also aware of the pain Libya has caused the families of the 189 American victims of Pan Am flight 103 that exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, bombed by convicted killer Abdelaset al-Megrahi, who was recently released from prison under questionable circumstances.  I am currently poised to begin a hearing in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the facts surrounding that release and Megrahi’s return to Libya to a hero’s welcome. I hope the U.N. Human Rights Council listens to witnesses like Robert Monetti, a New Jerseyan who lost his son on that ill-fated flight, and ceases to include representatives in this body that do not have a history and tradition of respect for life and human rights.”

At the UN: Victims of Bombed Pan Am Flight 103 Urge Libya’s Removal from UN Human Rights Council



Remarks by Robert Monetti
NGO Panel Event at United Nations European Headquarters, Geneva
“Libya on the UN Human Rights Council”
Hosted by UN Watch, September 16, 2010

Good Morning.  My Name is Bob Monetti.  I am a retired engineer from Cherry Hill, New Jersey in the USA.  I wasn’t very interested in the workings of the United Nations until the past 22 years.  It seems that there is a lot of hypocrisy involved in the workings of the UN.

The U.N. General Assembly established the UN Human Rights Council on 15 March 2006, in order to replace the previous Human Rights Commission, which had been heavily criticized for allowing countries with poor human rights records to be members.  Things don’t seem any better today.

Allowing Libya to be involved in the UNHRC in any way is a travesty.  Libya is a dictatorship, which doesn’t protect its citizens’ human rights and flagrantly murders citizens of other countries. 

My son was a 20-year-old Syracuse University student, studying abroad for a semester in London.  Sadly he was a passenger on Pan Am Flight 103 when it blew up over Lockerbie Scotland in December of 1988.  He and 269 other innocents perished at Libya’s hand. Many of the passengers, like my Rick, were college students.  Most were under 24 years old.

Finally, in 2001 a Libyan intelligence agent, Megrahi, was convicted by a Scottish court at a trial that was held in an obscure location in the Netherlands.  The press coverage, other than the first and last days, was almost nonexistent. The trial was long and detailed.  Many damning facts were presented, none of which was refuted by the defense.   The verdict was correct.  We all understood that Megrahi didn’t act alone and he didn’t act on his own, but there wasn’t sufficient evidence to indict or convict his superiors. 

In 2003, Libya finally accepted responsibility for the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 in a letter to the UN.

Hearing Libya admit responsibility for the bombing and knowing that at least one murderer was in jail in Scotland gave some small consolation and some sort of “closure” to the victims’ families.  The “compassionate release” last year by the Scots, and the circus that followed, ended that with a thud.

monetti

The son of the dictator flew his private plane to Scotland to escort the murderer back to Libya, where Gadhafi gave him a hero’s welcome.  This is the punishment Libya gives to convicted human rights abusers.

A French court convicted Libya of the 1989 bombing of the French UTA plane over Chad.  They admitted giving explosives and weapons to the IRA during the “troubles” in Northern Ireland. 

They may still be holding the Swiss businessmen that they detained in retaliation for the Swiss treatment of Gadhafi son’s for his thuggish behavior in a Swiss hotel.  There were many more human rights violations by Gadhafi’s regime, but time is short today.

I guess a Libyan government official would be able to recognize a human rights abuse – but he’d just think of it as “business as usual.”

In March of 1989, friends and relatives of those murdered formed the “Victims of Pan Am Flight 103” (VPAF103). The group gave me the job of Aviation Security. I’ve worked on aviation security issues for most of the past 22-1/2 years. I was the VPAF103 representative on the US FAA Aviation Security Advisory Committee (ASAC), until the TSA took over. I served as the only “civilian” member of the Baseline Working Group in 1996. I’ve worked as a consultant to the FAA for 3 years. I was a member of the US airport Public Safety and Security Committee (ACI-NA). I have attended many aviation security seminars, symposia, and meetings; and have spoken at several. I witnessed most of the bombproof container tests and several of the explosive tests in aircraft.

In January of 1998, the FAA conducted a test in Mobile, Alabama. They bought an old Lockheed L-1011. They filled several luggage containers with unclaimed bags and pressurized the plane to 9 PSIG. In one of the suitcases, was a small improvised explosive device (IED). The bomb was similar to the size that Megrahi used to blow up Pan Am 103.  The plane instantly unpeeled and the cockpit fell off. It looked just like the reconstructed Pan Am 747.

Make no mistake.  Megrahi was one of the people who planted the bomb on PA103.  He was a high-ranking member of Libyan intelligence. (oxymoron?) He had 2 two passports. The second one was only used once on December 20-21, 1988 to fly in and out of Malta.  He had a Swiss bank account of more than one million dollars.  The piece of timer found in the wreckage matched the ones that Mebo (a Swiss company) only built for Libyan intelligence.  

With almost unlimited oil money, Libya has financed a 10-year-long relentless media campaign in the UK to discredit the trial, the evidence and the conviction. And it worked. Gadhafi not only kills at will, but he also manages to get away with it.

While freedom of speech is a right in all democratic countries, it is not a right that Gadhafi gives his own people. 

As long as Gadhafi sits on all that oil, he can do whatever he pleases and get away with it. There’s no morality in politics. World politics is about business, and in Libya, business is about oil. 

Why ever would the U.N. let Gadhafi judge other countries’ human rights records?

Global Outrage Mounts over Election of Libya to UN Human Rights Council

The shock of Libya’s election to the UN Human Rights Council last Thursday continues to reverberate around the globe.

In Europe, today the France 24 news channel reported that the UN’s elevation of the Qaddafi regime “has been met with outrage the world over and is echoed on the web.” Berlin’s Morgen Post, Germany’s second most-read daily newspaper, called it a “success for Muammar Qaddafi,” and reported that “human rights groups are appalled.” Switzerland’s 20 Minuten, the country’s most widely read daily, noted that Libya continues to hold Swiss hostage Max Göldi, and that some consider the UN council “a cartel of perpetrators” that makes sure nothing that could potentially harm their power is even discussed much less decided.” Continue reading ‘Global Outrage Mounts over Election of Libya to UN Human Rights Council’

Libya Wins Seat on UN Rights Council; UN Watch Reaction Quoted in Media Worldwide

Despite the determined efforts of UN Watch and its supporters, Libya won a seat on the UN Human Rights Council today in uncontested elections held at the General Assembly in New York, as did other rights abusing countries including Angola, Malaysia, and Qatar. UN Watch headed a global coalition of 37 human rights groups that fought to defeat the Qaddafi regime’s candidacy, with appeals urging the US and the EU to lead an opposition campaign. Continue reading ‘Libya Wins Seat on UN Rights Council; UN Watch Reaction Quoted in Media Worldwide’

Libya wins 80% support of UN for new seat on Human Rights Council; full results of elections

Full results of today’s election of 14 countries as members of the UN Human Rights Council, as officially released by the UN:

Continue reading ‘Libya wins 80% support of UN for new seat on Human Rights Council; full results of elections’

Human rights groups oppose U.N. Human Rights Council seats for Qaddafi’s Libya, Angola, Mauritania, Qatar, Malaysia

‘Elections without competition don’t make sense’

Geneva, May 12, 20010 – Human rights groups are calling on the General Assembly to reject seats on the U.N. Human Rights Council for Libya, Angola, Mauritania, Qatar and Malaysia because of their poor rights records.

The world body’s 192 states are scheduled to elect 14 new members to the 47-nation council on Thursday. But with regional groups tailoring their amount of candidates to match the amount of available seats, human groups are crying foul.

“Elections without competition don’t make sense,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based UN Watch, whose group heads a coalition of 37 human rights organizations that campaigned for the U.S. and the E.U. to defeat Libya’s candidacy.  Click here for joint NGO appeal.

“By electing serial human rights violators, the UN violates its own criteria as well as common sense,” said Neuer. “Choosing Libyan dictator Moammar Qaddafi to judge others on human rights is a joke. He’ll use the position not to promote human rights but to shield his record of abuse, and those of his allies. This turns the entire U.N. Human Rights Council into a joke.” Continue reading ‘Human rights groups oppose U.N. Human Rights Council seats for Qaddafi’s Libya, Angola, Mauritania, Qatar, Malaysia’

UN Watch Fights Libyan Bid for Seat on UN Human Rights Council

  E-Campaign to Stop Qaddafi: Click Here to Take Action

 Left to right: UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer; Mohammed Eljahmi, brother of courageous Libyan dissident Fathi Eljahmi who was jailed, tortured and killed by Qaddafi regime; Freedom House Deputy Director Tom Melia. UN Watch and Freedom House organized a special UN briefing for diplomats and the press corps, urging all countries to vote against Libya in next week’s elections for the UN Human Rights Council. UN Headquarters, New York, May 4, 2010. Click here for more photos.

Continue reading ‘UN Watch Fights Libyan Bid for Seat on UN Human Rights Council’

Sponsor of UN-hosted blood libel tied to Libyan regime

As reported in the New York Daily News, last month UN Watch exposed the UN Human Rights Council’s publication of a blood libel by the anti-Semitic EAFORD group, accusing Israeli doctors of a racist conspiracy to steal organs of Palestinians.

Though it claims in its official UN filings to be a non-governmental organization dedicated to promoting universal human rights, EAFORD appears instead to be a front group for one of the world’s worst human rights violators: the Libyan regime of Moammar Kaddafi. Its raison d’etre is demonizing Israel as a racist state. The GONGO also foments hatred against America and the West, in the past by publishing the works of various fringe figures. Continue reading ‘Sponsor of UN-hosted blood libel tied to Libyan regime’

Ziegler denies friendship with Qaddafi but heading to Libya to celebrate coup anniversary

The Geneva lawyer of Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi, Charles Poncet, says that Switzerland should have chosen Jean Ziegler, the recently-elected vice-chair of the UN Human Rights Council’s Advisory Committee, to resolve the year-long diplomatic crisis that has Libya still holding two Swiss citizens as hostages.

In response to the arrest of the dictator’s son in Geneva last July, Libya also pulled out billions in Swiss bank deposits and halted oil exports that previously amounted to more than half of all crude going into Switzerland. Qaddafi has recently been giving speeches at various international summits calling for the dismantling of Switzerland, which he calls a terrorist state for its alleged harboring of Al Qaeda cash.

Poncet said that Ziegler is a close and long-time friend of Qaddafi, going back 35-40 years. UN Watch has documented in detail Ziegler’s Libyan connections, such as his 1989 co-founding of the Muammar Qaddafi Human Rights Prize, awarded in 2002 to Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy, and to Ziegler himself.

Ziegler denied today that he has “any links of friendship or complicity” with Qaddafi, but says he is rather “regularly received by him as a sociologist.” Ziegler also said that he is off to the Libyan capital on September 1st on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Qaddafi’s coup d’etat.




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