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.”

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