Archive for the 'Libya' Category

Annick Cojean at the 2014 Geneva Summit for Human Rights

annick cojean 1

Le Monde journalist, author of book on women raped by Col. Qaddafi, Annick Cojean spoke on Qaddafi’s sex slaves at yesterday’s 6th annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy.

The full speech is available on video here at the 01:56:00 mark:

Extracts:

— Hillel Neuer (@HillelNeuer) February 25, 2014

U.N.-adopted report on Qaddafi rights record is “abhorrent,” says Amnesty USA chief

UN Watch Objects in Plenary, Reads Out
Countries’ Shameful Praise of Qaddafi

Council President Overrules Objection, Defends Report

GENEVA, March 14, 2012 —  A U.N. report ridiculed worldwide for lavishing praise on the Qaddafi regime’s human rights record was unanimously adopted today by the 47-nation UN Human Rights Council, with president Laura Dupuy Lasserre overruling the objection made in the plenary by UN Watch. (Click here for video; see text below.)

After it was first exposed by UN Watch last year, the report card giving high marks to Qaddafi was mocked by the New York Times, The Economist and other major media worldwide, causing a red-faced UN to postpone the report’s adoption repeatedly — until today. Continue reading ‘U.N.-adopted report on Qaddafi rights record is “abhorrent,” says Amnesty USA chief’

Update: UN passes unanimous resolution praising Qaddafi’s rights record

Report was ridiculed by New York Times, The Economist, and other media worldwide

Amnesty USA chief says report is “abhorrent,” calls for “redo”

GENEVA, March 14, 2012 — A UN report that has been ridiculed worldwide for lavishing praise on the Qaddafi regime’s human rights was unanimously adopted today by the 47-nation UN Human Rights Council, despite an objection voiced in the plenary by the Geneva-based UN Watch group.

CLICK HERE FOR QUOTES OF REPORT’S PRAISE FOR QADDAFI REGIME

The report, which summarizes the council’s Nov. 9, 2010 review of Libya, sparked outrage among human rights activists from the Geneva-based UN Watch as well as Amnesty USA.

Originally slated for adoption in March 2011, a strong protest by the non-governmental UN Watch monitoring group, which also led last year’s successful NGO Campaign to Remove Libya from the UN Human Rights Council, generated headlines in the New York Times and other media worldwide, causing a red-faced UN to postpone the report’s adoption until today. Continue reading ‘Update: UN passes unanimous resolution praising Qaddafi’s rights record’

Today: UN to adopt report praising Qaddafi’s human rights record

GENEVA, March 14, 2012 — A UN report praising the Qaddafi regime’s human rights record will receive its final plenary hearing today before being formally adopted next week by the 47-nation UN Human Rights Council, sparking outrage among human rights activists from UN Watch as well as Amnesty USA.

CLICK HERE FOR QUOTES OF PRAISE FOR QADDAFI REGIME

Libya was reviewed by the council on November 9, 2010 and the report, replete with praise for the Qaddafi regime, was meant to be adopted in the March 2011 session.

However, a strong protest by the non-governmental UN Watch monitoring group, which also led last year’s successful NGO Campaign to Remove Libya from the UN Human Rights Council, generated headlines in theNew York Times and other media worldwide, causing a red-faced UN to postpone the report’s adoption until now.

“The council’s review of the Qaddafi regime was a fraud, and should be declared a mistrial,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch.

Similarly, Suzanne Nossel, the head of Amnesty USA and a former senior human rights official in the Obama Administration, recently described the UN report as “abhorrent,” and called for a “redo.” Continue reading ‘Today: UN to adopt report praising Qaddafi’s human rights record’

Is Syrian ambassador to UN rights council planning to defect?

Tomorrow will see Foreign Ministers descend on Geneva for the opening of the first 2012 session of the UN Human Rights Council.

At a recent UN press conference, U.S. Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe offered a good review of what’s ahead. Click here for the transcript, and here for the audio. Reuters asked about UN Watch’s protest over Libya’s vehement attack against gays (minute 16:00).

Of note:

  • The Syrian envoy to the UN rights council,  Faysal Hamoui, hasn’t been seen in a while, and, alluding to the Libyans’ defection last year, Ambassador Donahoe hinted that he may be planning the same:

Continue reading ‘Is Syrian ambassador to UN rights council planning to defect?’

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’

45 rights groups urge UN Rights Council to investigate its Gaddafi apologists Jean Ziegler & Al-Hajjaji

Where is Qaddafi’s Woman at the U.N.?

GENEVA, October 21 – While the UN human rights office today called for an investigation into Gaddafi’s death, an international coalition of 45 human rights groups today urged Ban Ki-moon and UN rights chief Navi Pillay to investigate two UN Human Rights Council officials for their alleged actions over three decades to shield Libyan dictator Col. Qaddafi from scrutiny of his regime’s gross violations of human rights. (See full text below.)

The appeal names Jean Ziegler, a member of the UNHRC Advisory Committee, who in 1989 announced the creation of the “Moammar Qaddafi Prize for Human Rights.” While Libya’s rights record was being reviewed last year by the UNHRC, a Libyan-funded group tied to Ziegler distributed within the UN a Ziegler-edited book comparing Qaddafi to French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

The 45 NGOs, mostly from Africa, also urged the council to fire Najat Al-Hajjaji, Qaddafi’s long-time representative to UN human rights bodies, from the council’s expert working group on mercenaries and human rights.

CLICK FOR MORE

UN Should Apologize For “Legitimizing” Gaddafi with Key Posts

45 NGOs urge UN Human Rights Council’s Jean Ziegler to resign for founding “Gaddafi Human Rights Prize”

GENEVA, Oct. 20 – UN Watch today welcomed the end of the Gaddafi regime, one of the world’s most brutal violators of human rights, and called on UN chief Ban Ki-moon and human rights commissioner Navi Pillay to acknowledge the UN was wrong to support Gaddafi by granting him key posts on its most influential bodies.

Gaddafi apologist Najat al-Hajjaji represented Libya as chair of UN Human Rights Commission and Durban Review Conference on racism.

 

“It’s time for the UN to formally apologize for having legitimized Gaddafi’s regime by electing Libya to its Human Rights Council last year, to the Security Council in 2008-2009, and as General Assembly president in 2009,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based watchdog organization.

“The UN should also apologize for choosing Gaddafi’s regime to head the planning of its 2009 world conference on racism, and for designating Col. Gaddafi’s daughter Ayesha a UN Goodwill Ambassador.”
Continue reading ‘UN Should Apologize For “Legitimizing” Gaddafi with Key Posts’

Torture of Gaddafi maids: UN knew, refused to act

For  anyone  following Libyan affairs, yesterday’s revelation about the Gaddafi family’s mistreatment of Shweyga Mullah, an Ethiopian nanny for the family of Gaddafi’s son Hannibal was hardly a revelation. Certainly the UN knew about this conduct — we told them about how it, but they didn’t want to listen. Continue reading ‘Torture of Gaddafi maids: UN knew, refused to act’

International Criminal Court issues arrest warrant for Gaddafi

The International Criminal Court issued yesterday three arrest warrants for Muammar Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam and his brother-in-law Abdullah al-Senussi for crimes against humanity based on political grounds, and murder and persecution, committed from February 15, 2011 onwards by the Libyan authorities.

The application for the warrant, issued in May by the Office of the Prosecutor Luis Moren-Ocampo, stated that these crimes constituted “widespread and systematic attacks against a civilian population, in particular demonstrators and alleged dissidents.” In the document, Gaddafi is stated to have authorized the mobilization of security forces against protesters, along with the recruitment of mercenaries.

In his television addresses, Gaddafi called protesters “rats” and threatened “to clean Libya inch by inch, house by house, small street by small street, individual by individual, corner by corner until the country is clean from all garbage and dirt.” Victims’ relatives were permitted to retrieve bodies of civilians killed in demonstrations only if they signed a paper stating that the victims were “rats”.

Not even cemeteries and burial sites were spared by the Libyan regime: according to the document, bodies were dug up, loaded on trucks and taken away. On April 30, Gaddafi asked those who claim that the regime was killing its own people to show him the bodies or autopsies or burial sites.

Two years ago, the International Criminal Court issued a warrant of arrest for another head of state, Omar al-Bashir of Sudan, for his responsibility in crimes of genocide against the Fur, Masali and Zaghawa ethnic groups, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Ahmad Harun, former minister of State for the Interior and today governor of the South Kordofan region is quoted as publicly acknowledging his mission to destroy specific ethnic groups, stating that al-Bashir had given him the power to kill whomever he wanted and that, “for the sake of Darfur, they were ready to kill three quarters of the people in Darfur, so that one quarter could live.”

The document also reported how thousands of women and girls were, and continue to be, raped in Darfur by members of Bashir’s militias.

Survivors from the attacks by government-related militias are forced into inhospitable terrain to then starve to death, while they are told slogans like “the Fur are slaves, we will kill them”; “You are Zaghawa tribe, you are slaves”;”You are blacks, no blacks can stay here, and no black can stay in Sudan… The power of al-Bashir belongs to the Arabs and we will kill you until the end.”

Links
Gaddafi’s Warrant of Arrest
Gaddafi’s Prosecution Application

Al-Bashir’s Warrant of Arrest
Al-Bashir’s Prosecution Application

Speech: The UN’s Qaddafi ties

UN Watch Statement
Interactive Dialogue with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Delivered by Hillel Neuer, March 3, 2011

Madame High Commissioner, we thank you for your report, and applaud its emphasis on the core principle of accountability. We commend your recent leadership on human rights in Libya. As you stated, “the people of Libya had long been victims of the serious excesses of the Libyan leadership.”

In this regard, given that accountability begins at home, we wish to ask whether your office has begun to reflect upon how, in recent years, the United Nations and its human rights system could have shown greater solidarity with Libya’s victims. We offer five specific questions:

 1. Given that your responsibility is to mainstream human rights throughout the U.N. system, we ask: When the Qaddafi regime was chosen to serve on the Security Council for 2008 and 2009; when its representative was chosen as President of the General Assembly in 2009; when Col. Qaddafi’s daughter Ayesha was designated in 2009 a U.N. Goodwill Ambassador — why did you not speak out?

 2. According to a study of all your published statements from September 2008 through June 2010, you never once mentioned human rights in Libya. Why?

 3. Your report refers to your office’s strong support for the Durban process, for which you served as Secretary-General of its 2009 World Conference on Racism. When a representative of the Libyan regime was chosen to chair that conference’s two-year planning committee, and to chair the main committee, why did you not speak out?

 4. When the Qaddafi regime was elected as a member of this council last year, why did you not speak out?

 5. Your report refers to the council’s Advisory Committee.  In 2008, ignoring the appeal of UN Watch and 25 human rights groups, the council elected the co-founder of the Muammar Qaddafi Human Rights Prize—a propaganda tool for the regime—to this body. Last year he was made the committee’s vice-president. Why did you not speak out? 

 And will you now call on the recipients of this prize—former Cuban President Fidel Castro in 1998, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez in 2004, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega in 2009, and Turkish PM Erdogan in 2010—to renounce this prize, and to apologize to all the human rights victims—past and present—of Col. Muammar Qaddafi?

 Thank you.

Qaddafi and his UN-accredited “NGO” North-South 21

What do we know about the Geneva-based North South 21, which has UN accreditation as a “non-governmental” organization?

 A series of publicly-available documents show how the Qaddafi regime created the organization in 1989, as part of the Geneva-based committee to award an annual “Moammar Qaddafi Prize for Human Rights.” Radical anti-Western activist Jean Ziegler played a founding role in the inter-linked organizations.

UN Watch detailed all of this in a major 2006 report here, as cooroborated by a front page story by Switzerland’s leading newspaper,  the Neue Zurcher Zeitung. Further details about the Libyans’ open acknowledgment of North South 21 being a part of the Qaddafi Prize organization can be found here. (Supplement to UN Watch’s June 20, 2006 Report, “Switzerland’s Nominee to the UN Human Rights Council and the Moammar Khaddafi Human Rights Prize”, containing excerpts from http://www.gaddafiprize.org/ that document Jean Ziegler’s role as a 1989 co-founder of the Khaddafi Prize and its 2002 winner, and confirming the Khaddafi Prize organization’s control over North-South XXI and the North-South Institute, of which Jean Ziegler is vice-president.According to the Libyan press agency, the organization in Geneva that awards the Khaddafi Prize is an entity called North-South XXI (or Nord-Sud XXI). See “President Chavez of Venezuela wins International Gaddafi Award for Human Rights,” Libyan Jamahiriya Broadcasting Corporation, December 10, 2004, at http://en.ljbc.net/online/news_details.php?id=475 (see Attachment 7 here); “Oxymoron,” Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 15 Oktober 2004 (citing Libyan press agency Jana as saying the Prize is awarded by an International People’s Committee and Nord-Sud XXI) (see Attachment 8 here).   Continue reading ‘Qaddafi and his UN-accredited “NGO” North-South 21′

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”’

L’experte libyenne devenue indésirable

Tribune de Genève
9 mars 2011

Alain Jourdan

Elle fait partie des diplomates restés fidèles au régime. En poste à Genève depuis une dizaine d’années, Najat Al- Hajjaji est considérée comme une proche de la famille Kadhafi. Plusieurs ONG viennent de demander sont expulsion de l’ONU. Depuis plusieurs mois, la diplomate siège comme experte au sein du groupe de travail de l’ONU sur l’utilisation des mercenaires.

«Au regard de ce qui se passe, c’est une insulte au peuple libyen»,fulmine Hillel Neuer, directeur de l’ONG UN Watch. Najat Al- Hajjaji a présidé la Commission des droits de l’homme et conduit les travaux préparatoires de la Conférence surle racisme en 2009. A l’époque, elle s’était illustrée en empêchant le médecin palestinien emprisonnéavec les infirmières bulgares en Libye de s’exprimer dans l’enceinte même d’une assemblée dédiée à la défense des droits de l’homme. Une attitude qui avait alors soulevé l’indignation des ONG présentes.

En début de semaine, une lettre a été adressée au secrétaire général de l’ONU, Ban Ki-moon, à la haut-commissaire aux droits de l’homme, Navi Pillay, et au président du Conseil des droits de l’homme pour leur demander de procéder à l’expulsion de Najat Al- Hajjaji. Le Conseil pourrait adopter une résolution pour exclure l’ex-représentante de Kadhafi d’ici à la fin de sa session, le 25 mars. La présence d’une fidèle parmi les fidèles du régime libyen est devenue encombrante.

Al Jazeera video: UNW’s Hillel Neuer Slams U.N. for Embracing Gaddafi

UN Watch’s Hillel Neuer Slams U.N. for Embracing Gaddafi, interviewed on Al Jazeera, Feb. 28, 2011.

Exposed: Qaddafi rep is UN Human Rights Council’s “Expert on Mercenaries”

GENEVA, March 7 - With the Libyan regime deploying hired guns to massacre its own people, the UN Human Rights Council was urged today to fire Najat Al-Hajjaji, a long-time mouthpiece of Col. Muammar Qaddafi, from her post as a council investigator on human rights violations by mercenaries.

“Every day she stays with the UN Human Rights Council is an insult to the victims of Qaddafi’s murderous regime,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a Geneva-based human rights group that initiated the successful campaign to suspend Libya as a member of the 47-nation council.

“At a time when Qaddafi is using mercenaries to kill his own people, it is outrageous that one of his long-time representatives would sit on the world’s highest human rights body as a supposed defender of human rights — and, of all things, as a defender of victims of mercenaries,” said Neuer.

Since 2005, Ms. Al-Hajjaji has served on the council’s 5-person “Working Group on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights.” Click here for UN website listing Al-Hajjaji at bottom.

“For more than a decade, Al-Hajjaji whitewashed the crimes of the Qaddafi regime as its representative to UN human rights bodies in Geneva,” said Neuer. In 2003, human rights groups universally condemned her election as Chair of the UN Commission on Human Rights. Al-Hajjaji’s tenure was widely seen as the last straw in the decline of its credibility, with Kofi Annan saying soon afterward that member states had joined to shield their records of abuse.

In April 2009, when the Al-Hajjaji chaired the planning committee of the UN’s World Conference on Racism, she silenced testimony by a victim of the Qaddafi regime, who was tortured together with five Bulgarian nurses under trumped-up charges of infecting Benghazi children with HIV. (Click here for original video; click here for France 24 video.)

In a letter sent today to UN chief Ban Ki-moon, UN rights commissioner Navi Pillay, and UNHRC president Sihasak Phuangketkeow, UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer demanded that the officials take immediate action to expel Al-Hajjaji from the Human Rights Council. Neuer also urged action in letters sent to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and EU foreign minister Catherine Ashton.

After UN Watch Protest, U.N. Rights Council Pulls Report Singing Qaddafi’s Praises

On Friday, UN Watch won another small victory for human rights, sanity and the victims of Col. Qaddafi, when the U.N. Human Rights Council announced it was shelving a report — prepared prior to the current massacres in Libya — that lavishly praised the Libyan regime for its record on human rights. See quotes here.

Although the U.N. last week suspended Libya from the council, the overwhelmingly pro-Qaddafi report remained scheduled to be presented on March 18 and then adopted by a council resolution.

But the sham came to halt when UN Watch sounded the alarm, exposing the report as a fraud and demanding that it be sidelined. The story went viral: UN Watch was interviewed on CNN International and Al Jazeera. The New York Times featured the story in today’s Week in Review section. UN Watch was additionally quoted by Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, Fox News, The Washington Post online, Asian News International, The New York Sun, The Atlantic online, The Vancouver Sun, Czech daily newspaper Právo, Italy’s L’Opinione delle Liberta, SwissInfo, Estonia’s Ekspress, Spain’s El Correo, and Spain’s Radio Televisión Española. Continue reading ‘After UN Watch Protest, U.N. Rights Council Pulls Report Singing Qaddafi’s Praises’

Video: UNW’s Hillel Neuer urges U.N. rights chief to renounce Qaddafi ties


The head of the London School of Economics has resigned over his ties to the Qaddafi regime. Rock stars Beyonce, Nelly Furtado and Mariah Carey have expressed remorse for their paid peformances at Qaddafi family parties. Former Egyptian minister of culture Gaber Asfour renounced his 2010 “Gaddafi International Award for Literature.” Only at the UN, however, is no one yet willing to take any responsibility for their institutional embrace of the Qaddafi regime. In the plenary of the UN Human Rights Council yesterday, UN Watch’s Hillel Neuer urged U.N. rights chief Navi Pillay to begin the soul-searching; she refused to respond. See video above and text below.

_______________

 

UN Watch Statement
Interactive Dialogue with UN High Commissioner
for Human Rights Navi Pillay
UN Human Rights Council Plenary
Delivered by Executive Director Hillel Neuer, March 3, 2011

Madame High Commissioner,

We thank you for your report, and applaud its emphasis on the core principle of accountability. We commend your recent leadership on human rights in Libya. As you stated, “the people of Libya had long been victims of the serious excesses of the Libyan leadership.”

In this regard, given that accountability begins at home, we wish to ask whether your office has begun to reflect upon how, in recent years, the United Nations and its human rights system could have shown greater solidarity with Libya’s victims. We offer five specific questions:

1. Given that your responsibility is to mainstream human rights throughout the U.N. system, we ask: When the Qaddafi regime was chosen to serve on the Security Council for 2008 and 2009; when its representative was chosen as President of the General Assembly in 2009; when Col. Qaddafi’s daughter Ayesha was designated in 2009 a U.N. Goodwill Ambassador — why did you not speak out?

2. According to a study of all your published statements from September 2008 through June 2010, you never once mentioned human rights in Libya. Why?

3. Your report refers to your office’s strong support for the Durban process, for which you served as Secretary-General of its 2009 World Conference on Racism. When a representative of the Libyan regime was chosen to chair that conference’s two-year planning committee, and to chair the main committee, why did you not speak out?

4. When the Qaddafi regime was elected as a member of this council last year, why did you not speak out?

5. Your report refers to the council’s Advisory Committee. In 2008, ignoring the appeal of UN Watch and 25 human rights groups, the council elected Jean Ziegler, the co-founder of the Muammar Qaddafi Human Rights Prize—a propaganda tool for the regime—to this body. Last year he was made the committee’s vice-president. Why did you not speak out?

And will you now call on the recipients of this prize—former Cuban President Fidel Castro in 1998, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez in 2004, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega in 2009, and Turkish PM Erdogan in 2010—to renounce this prize, and to apologize to all the human rights victims—past and present—of Col. Muammar Qaddafi?

Thank you, Madame High Commissioner.

[Note: In High Commissioner Navi Pillay’s response to the plenary, she addressed other groups’ questions but refused to address those above.]

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’

Victory: After UN Watch protest, UN rights council pulls report praising Qaddafi

GENEVA, March 3, 2011 — UN Watch welcomes  the U.N. Human Rights Council’s announcement, in response to our urgent appeal, that its current session is canceling the consideration of a council report lavishly praising the Qaddafi regime’s human rights record, which was scheduled for March 18, and the report’s scheduled adoption by a council resolution in the following week. The U.N. decision was announced today by the US Mission.

However, the Geneva-based human rights group urged the U.N. council to cancel — and not only “postpone” — the fraudulent report, whose main effect, said executive director Hillel Neuer today, “was to bolster Qaddafi’s oppressive regime, demoralize his victims, and harm the reputation of the UN. The review should be completely redone, and the truth told about Qaddafi’s crimes.”

The US announcement of today’s decision features below. Continue reading ‘Victory: After UN Watch protest, UN rights council pulls report praising Qaddafi’

Reversal: UN ousts Qaddafi from human rights council

GENEVA, March 1 – Nine months after shamefully electing the Qaddafi regime to its Human Rights Council, the UN today reversed itself and suspended Libya’s membership. Click here for details.

From the moment the Libyan regime declared its candidacy last year, UN Watch initiated the opposition to Qaddafi sitting as a world judge of human rights. Click here for chronology of UN Watch’s tireless campaign.

In September, when the Libyan regime took its seat, UN Watch launched a campaign demanding Libya’s suspension from the Geneva-based Council, becoming the first voice to do so. We were supported by 27 human rights groups, a number that surpassed 80 in our renewed NGO appeal of nine days ago.

Most powerfully, to support the campaign, victims and relatives of victims showed great courage in accepting UN Watch’s invitation to challenge the Libyan regime at the council and confront their oppressor. Continue reading ‘Reversal: UN ousts Qaddafi from human rights council’

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.

Success: UN Watch thanks UNGA for finally suspending Qaddafi from UN Human Rights Council

Geneva, March 1- UN Watch, which has led the opposition by rights groups and victims to Libya’s presence on the UN Human Rights Council for the past year, said this afternoon’s vote by the General Assembly — which unanimously suspended the Qaddafi regime — was “better late than never.”

“The election of Libya to the world’s top human rights body last May was a shameful act that bolstered Qaddafi’s regime, demoralized his victims, and stained the reputation of the United Nations,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based human rights group. Continue reading ‘Success: UN Watch thanks UNGA for finally suspending Qaddafi from UN Human Rights Council’

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.

_________

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’

Hall of Shame: UN Human Rights Council to adopt report praising Gaddafi regime

GENEVA, Feb. 28 – UN Watch, which heads the Global NGO Campaign to Remove Libya from the UN Human Rights Council, today called on US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, EU foreign minister Catherine Ashton and UN rights chief Navi Pillay to urge the council president to cancel a planned resolution praising Libya’s human rights record, scheduled to be adopted in the current session.

Despite having just voted to suspend Libya from its ranks (to be finalized by the UNGA tomorrow), the UN Human Rights Council, according to the agenda of its current session, is planning to “consider and adopt the final outcome of the review of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.” According to the council’s timetable, the lengthy report hailing Libya’s human rights record will be presented on March 18, and then adopted by the council at the end of the month. The report, which the UN has published on the council website, is the outcome of a recent session that was meant to review Libya’s human rights record.

“Although the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism is often described by council defenders as its saving grace, the vast majority of council members used it to falsely praise the Gaddafi regime for its alleged promotion of human rights,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a Geneva-based human rights monitoring organization. “The report is a fraud, an insult to Libya’s victims, and should be withdrawn immediately.”  (See numerous quotes of praise below.)

The report also includes praise of Libya’s record by the regime’s representatives (click here for quotes). “After Libya’s UN diplomats have defected and admitted that the Gaddafi regime is a gross violator of human rights, it would be nonsensical for the UN to now adopt this false report.”

“We call on the council president to acknowledge that the session on Libya was a fraud, withdraw the report, and schedule a new session in which council members would tell the truth about the Gaddafi regime’s heinous crimes, which were committed over four decades yet ignored by the UN,” said Neuer. “Libya’s long-suffering victims deserve no less.”

The UN report’s summary notes that delegations “commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,” and that they “noted with appreciation the country’s commitment to upholding human rights on the ground.”

Continue reading ‘Hall of Shame: UN Human Rights Council to adopt report praising Gaddafi regime’

How Qaddafi Used UN Human Rights Council to Project Own Crimes onto Israel

HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL HOLDS INTERACTIVE DIALOGUE ON REPORT OF FACT-FINDING MISSION ON ISRAEL’S ATTACK ON THE HUMANITARIAN FLOTILLA,  28 September 2010

IBRAHIM ALDREDI (Libya) extended its thanks to the members of the [Flotilla] Fact-Finding Mission and their report, despite the intransigence of the Israeli Government in cooperating with the Mission. Israel’s treatment of the aid flotilla was merely a reflection of its complete disregard for international law. This incident could not have happened without the support of certain States and the silence of others. The massacre took place in international waters and was a continuation of the policy of imprisonment committed against the people of Gaza. Until the Palestinian people were able to obtain their destiny, the international community had a duty to hold the perpetrators accountable and bring them to justice.

Council Holds General Debate on the Human Rights Situation in Palestine and Other Occupied Arab Territories
27 September 2010

IBRAHIM A.E. ALDREDI (Libya) said that after six decades of tragedy inflicted on the Arabs in the Palestinian territories, Israel was still acting aggressively in the absence of a deterrent and with the silence of powerful countries. Libya wondered where was the United Nations, the Human Rights Council and Chapter VII vis-à-vis those acts. Libya condemned acts perpetuated by Zionist terrorists in the Syrian Golan and deplored violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories against civilians. Libya requested the accountability of those responsible and said they must find themselves in front of the international justice. The checkpoints impeded the daily lives of Palestinian people and thus prevented them from living their lives in dignity. Libya full supported the resilience of Palestinian people and requested that this issue was transferred to the United Nations Security Council. Libya reaffirmed that the only solution to the Israeli-Palestinian problem was a democratic State of Palestine where all would be equal with no distinction on the basis of race or religion. Libya was looking forward to a solution based on the South African model, where everyone – black or white – lived side by side.

HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL TAKES UP HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION IN PALESTINE AND OTHER OCCUPIED ARAB TERRITORIES
27 September 2010

IBRAHIM A.E. ALDREDI (Libya) thanked the [Goldstone Report Follow-Up] Committee of Experts for their report. That report showed that Israel had persisted in not cooperating with the Committee of Experts. In spite of that, the report loosely spoke of lack of cooperation instead of asserting that there had been no cooperation at all. Libya considered that the whole report could only lead to one conclusion: that Israel would never conduct independent investigations leading to the conviction of war criminals for crimes undertaken during Operation Cast Lead. As one could not expect that a criminal would put himself on trial, Libya considered that no progress could be achieved. What mattered was to enforce the resolutions and the international community must therefore put on trial Israeli war criminals who had committed crimes in Gaza and the other Occupied Palestinian Territories.

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: