U.S. Sen. Menendez Unveils Resolution Condemning Qaddafi’s Brutality

UN Watch salutes Senator Robert Menendez for once again standing up for human rights and taking on the crimes of Libya’s Qaddafi regime. His office’s press release follows below.

SENATOR ROBERT MENENDEZ – NEW JERSEY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FEBRUARY 22, 2011

CONTACT: John Collins, 202 224 4744

 Menendez: “Gadhafi More Willing to Gun Down Libyans Than Listen to Them”

 Unveils New Resolution Condemning Ghadafi Regime’s Brutality

 Calls for Suspending Arms Sales to Libya, Investigation into Crimes Against Humanity, Suspension of Libya from UN Human Rights Council 

WASHINGTON – US Senator Robert Menendez (D-New Jersey) today unveiled a new Senate resolution condemning the brutality conducted by the Gadhafi regime in Libya. In the new resolution, Menendez, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, reiterated his support for peaceful protestors and their efforts to gain democratic reforms.

KEY COMPONENTS OF MENENDEZ’S NEW EFFORTS TO CONDEMN THE GADHAFI REGIME

(1) Urges suspension of arms sales to Libya until it can guarantee rights under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

(2) Encourages the United Nations Security Council to condemn violent attacks on protesters demanding democratic reforms;

(3) Urges for the International Criminal Court to investigate crimes against humanity committed by Gadhafi against the Libyan people;

(4) Urges the United Nations General Assembly to suspend Libya’s rights of membership in the Human Rights Council.

 Senator Menendez said, “Gadhafi has never been a friend to the United States. Now he is showing he’s not even a friend to the people of Libya. In fact, he’s more willing to gun down Libyans than listen to them. And all of this while sitting on the United Nations Human Rights Council.  All officials in the Libyan government – and around the world – should stand up for the Libyan people, grant their pleas for liberty and respect their call for human and civil rights. The United States must stand by the Libyan people as they seek the rights deserved by all peoples.”

***RESOLUTION BELOW***

112th CONGRESS

1st Session

 Condemning the brutal crackdown on protesters, calling on the International Criminal Court to investigate crimes against humanity, and calling on the United Nations General Assembly to suspend Libya’s membership in the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Mr. MENENDEZ submits the following resolution: 

RESOLUTION

 Condemning the brutal crackdown on protesters, calling on the International Criminal Court to investigate crimes against humanity, and calling on the United Nations General Assembly to suspend Libya’s membership in the United Nations Human Rights Council.

 Whereas Libya has instigated violent attacks on protesters demanding democratic reform killing hundreds of people.

Whereas the President Muammar Gadhafi and his son have fired on unarmed protesters using warplanes, helicopters, snipers and soldiers.

Whereas the Gadhafi regime has cut off most forms of communications to the capital, except for State sponsored television.

Whereas Muammar Gadhafi has ruled Libya for more than 40 years and has banned and brutally opposed any individual or group opposing the ideology of his 1969 revolution.

 Whereas the Gadhafi regime criminalizes the peaceful exercise of expression and association;

 Whereas Gadhafi refuses to permit independent journalists’ and lawyers’ organizations;

 Whereas the Gadhafi regime refuses to investigate cases of enforced disappearances, torture, and extrajudicial executions, including the fate of 1,200 detainees killed in Abu Salim Prison in June 1996;

 Whereas Libya took formal responsibility for the terrorist attack that brought Pan Am Flight 103 down over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 270 people, 189 of whom were U.S. citizens;

 Whereas the trials administered by Libya’s state security court for individuals accused of “offenses against the state,” have resulted in the continued detainment of at least 200 individuals who have already served their sentences or been acquitted;

 Whereas the Gadhafi regime arbitrarily detains women and girls in “social rehabilitation” facilities indefinitely for suspected transgressions of moral codes without judicial review;

 Whereas Libya joined the UN Human Rights Council on May 13, 2010 for a period of three years;

 Whereas Libya dismissed the recommendations that resulted from its first Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review on November 9, 2010 in areas guaranteeing freedom of expression and association; addressing impunity for gross violations committed in the past; releasing arbitrarily detained individuals; and adopting a framework to protect refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants;

 Whereas Libya’s membership in the United Nations Human Rights Council sends a demoralizing message of indifference to the families of the victims of Pan Am flight 103 and Libyan citizens that have endured repression, arbitrary arrest, enforced disappearance or physical assault in their struggle to obtain human rights;

Whereas the 16th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva is scheduled for February 28 – March 25, 2011: Now, therefore, be it

       Resolved, That the United States Senate–

 (1)          condemns the violent attacks on protesters demanding democratic reforms;

 (2)          calls on the Gadhafi government to desist from further violence and to recognize the Libyan people’s demand for democratic change;

 (3)          signs and adheres to the tenets of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

 (4)          calls on all nations to suspend arms sales to Libya until it can guarantee rights under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

 (5)          calls on the United Nations Security Council to condemn violent attacks on protesters demanding democratic reforms; 

(6)          calls on the International Criminal Court to investigate crimes against humanity committed by Gadhafi against the Libyan people;

(7)          calls on the United Nations General Assembly to suspend Libya’s rights of membership in the Human Rights Council.

(8)          calls on the United Nations Human Rights Council at its forthcoming meeting to assume a country mandate for Libya that employs a Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Libya.

(9)        calls on the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Council to call for a Special Session to address current events in Libya, as well as systemic human rights abuses by the Libyan government under the leadership of Muammar Gadhafi;

(10)        calls on the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Council to advocate for ensuring that systemic human rights abusers such as Libya are held responsible for implementing the recommendations made during their Universal Periodic Reviews.

(11)        calls on the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations to advocate for improving United Nations Human Rights Council membership criteria at the next United Nations General Assembly in New York City to exclude systematic human rights abusers.

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