Archive for the 'Libya' Category

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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’

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.

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

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.


  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

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


[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.]

September 16, 2010

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.


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?

Lockerbie Bombing Victims: Remove Qaddafi from U.N. Rights Council

27 NGOs to Launch Campaign to Suspend Libya

Geneva, September 15 — Bob Monetti of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, whose 20-year-old son was murdered in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, will tomorrow be one of several victims of Libyan human rights violations addressing the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, to protest the Qaddafi government’s new membership on the controversial 47-nation body. Monetti will be representing the Lockerbie Victims Association.

In tandem, a global coalition of 27 human rights groups, led by the Geneva-based UN Watch, will launch a campaign calling on U.N. member states to remove Libya from the council under a clause allowing for suspension of countries that commit systematic violations of human rights.

The government of Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi took its seat on the council for the first time this week, in a 3-week session that concludes on October 1st. This will allow Libya to influence the definition of women’s rights, mandates on freedom of speech and religion, and an expected two resolutions on Israel. The council was created in 2006 to replace the discredited Human Rights Commission, which earned scorn when Libya was elected as chair in 2003.

Also presenting tomorrow will be Mohamed Eljahmi, brother of the late Fathi Eljahmi, one of Libya’s most well-known political prisoners and torture victims; 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.

Rick Monetti, killed on Pan Am Flight 103

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’

NGO Urges UN to Stop Circulating ‘Israeli Organ Blood Libel’

UN Watch Calls on UN Rights Chief to Stop Distributing Anti-Semitic Statement During Debate on Goldstone Report

Geneva, March 24, 2010 – UN Watch, the Geneva-based watchdog organization, today called on the president of the UN Human Rights Council and the High Commissioner for Human Rights to stop circulating an “anti-Semitic” text that accuses Israeli doctors of scheming to steal Palestinian organs. The statement by the Libyan-linked group EAFORD was posted by the UNHRC on its Agenda for debate on the Goldstone Report. The UN Watch protest letter follows below. Continue reading ‘NGO Urges UN to Stop Circulating ‘Israeli Organ Blood Libel’’

Qaddafi’s man at the U.N., Mary Robinson’s legacy-hire, reelected as VP

Jean Ziegler, Qadaffi’s man at the U.N. Human Rights Council — and a legacy hire of Mary Robinson — was reelected this week as Vice-Chair of its Advisory Committee. Ziegler is a former Socialist politician in Switzerland, the author of numerous books accusing America, capitalism, and the West of being responsible for the world’s ills, and a long-time supporter of dictators such as Fidel Castro, Robert Mugabe, and Moammar Qaddafi. Continue reading ‘Qaddafi’s man at the U.N., Mary Robinson’s legacy-hire, reelected as VP’

U.N. Geneva Square Honors Philosopher Who Exposed U.N’s Jean Ziegler

savantsThe large René Cassin square in front of the U.N’s European headquarters in Geneva now features a fitting tribute to Jeanne Hersch, the great human rights theorist and founding director of UNESCO’s philosophy division, as part of a University of Geneva series of exhibits honoring the city’s illustrious thinkers. (Click here for PDF, and see p. 2 for text on Hersh.) Continue reading ‘U.N. Geneva Square Honors Philosopher Who Exposed U.N’s Jean Ziegler’

Must-see video: U.N. clash when Libyan chair of Durban 2 exposed for hypocrisy by victim testimony

Must-see video of the full confrontation with Libyan chair of Durban 2:  The video

UN Watch Turns Tables on Libyan Chair, Exposes Durban 2 Hypocrisy; Qaddafi’s rep panics

Below UN Watch testimony as just delivered. The speaker’s delivery was perfect. Mrs. Najjat Al-Hajjaji, the Libyan chair, made every mistake. She interrupted the witness at 3 different points — and then gave Libya (!) the floor to make an objection, and finally cut him off. But nevertheless he got in the important parts. The room was gripped. It was the top story on Swiss TV news tonight (TSR).

Click for France 24 video (in English)

Click here for Swiss TV video (in French). Stay tuned for the eventual YouTube video of the full speech.

Also: click here for the legal complaint filed by the Bulgarian nurses against Libya with the UN Human Rights Committee — the highest international tribual for individual human rights complaints — with UN Watch acting as co-counsel with Dr. Liesbeth Zegveld. It is released here now for the first time to the public.

And click here for related complaint filed by Dr. El-Hojouj last year.

Both Dr. Dr. El-Hojouj and Bulagrian nurse Kristiyna Valcheva will testify before the Geneva Summit for Human Rights, Tolerance and Democracy, this Sunday, 19 April 2009. Watch live webcast at Dr. El-Hojouj will be able to deliver his full speech — without interruptions. 



United Nations Durban Review Conference
Preparatory Committee, Third Substantive Session
17 April 2009, Geneva

Statement by United Nations Watch
Delivered by Ashraf Ahmed El-Hojouj

Thank you, Madame Chair.

I don’t know if you recognize me. I am the Palestinian medical intern who was scapegoated by your country, Libya, in the HIV case in the Benghazi hospital, together with five Bulgarian nurses.

Section 1 of the draft declaration for this conference speaks about victims of racism, discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance. Based on my own suffering, I wish to offer some proposals.

Starting in 1999, as you know, the five nurses and I were falsely arrested, prosecuted, imprisoned, brutally tortured, convicted, and sentenced to death. All of this, which lasted for nearly a decade, was for only one reason: because the Libyan government was looking to scapegoat foreigners.

Madame Chair, if that is not discrimination, then what is?

On the basis of my personal experience, I would like to propose the following amendments regarding remedies, redress and compensatory measures:

One: The United Nations should condemn countries that scapegoat, falsely arrest, and torture vulnerable minorities.

Two: Countries that have committed such crimes must recognize their past, and issue an official, public, and unequivocal apology to the victims.

Three:  In accordance with Article 2, paragraph 3 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, such countries must provide victims of discrimination with an appropriate remedy, including adequate compensation for material and immaterial damage.

Madame Chair, Libya told this conference that it practices no inequality or discrimination.

But then how do you account for what was done to me, to my colleagues, and to my family, who gave over thirty years serving your country, only to be kicked out  from their home, threatened with death, and subjected to state terrorism?

How can your government chair the planning committee for a world conference on discrimination, when it is on the list of the world’s worst of the worst, when it comes to discrimination and human rights violations?

When will your government recognize their crimes, apologize to me, to my colleagues, and to our families?

This week, at the Geneva Summit for Human Rights, Tolerance and Democracy, the five nurses and I will present our complaint and compensation claim against Libya, filed with the UN Human Rights Committee, the highest international tribunal for individual petitions.

The slogan for this Conference is “Dignity and justice for all.” Does this include your own country’s victims of discrimination?

Thank you, Madame Chair.

Timeline: How Libyan-funded GONGO “North Sud XXI” Leads Lobbying Campaign for Durban II NGO Forum

Not only is Libya’s Qaddafi regime heading the 20-member planning bureau of the Durban II racism conference, but the one behind the steady drumbeat calling for the UN conference to feature a NGO Forum has been none other than “Nord Sud XXI”, a Libyan-funded front organization, or “GONGO”, which tragically infiltrated the Geneva NGO world long ago.

For the past year, Nord Sud XXI — which hides its connection to the Libyans and dual identity as the Muammar Qaddafi Prize Human Rights Prize committee  — has been leading the campaign for a NGO Forum:

  • May 2008: Nord Sud XXI media campaign for Durban II. Nord Sud XXI representative Curtis Doebbler — lawyer for former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein — expressed his outrage at a South African journalist who reported the news that the Durban II conference would take place in Geneva instead of Africa: “[L]et us hope that the South African government will prove that it has the courage to speak up in defense of Durban II and to throw its whole-hearted support behind it. By not holding Durban II the struggle against insidious discrimination and intolerance will suffer a serious setback. And only by holding Durban II in the South can this Review  Conference be made truly accessible to civil society from all over the world…” Click for Letter
  • May 2008: Nord Sud XXI lobbies for NGO Forum. With no shame, the Libyan-run Nord Sud XXI helped organize a joint NGO letter sent to the Libyan chair of the Durban II planning committee, demanding that the UN allocate space for a NGO Forum adjacent to the conference, as well as funding to fly in activists from around the world, and castigating UN officials who dared to disagree:  “We are equally concerned over recent remarks by representatives of the UN Secretariat which tend to discourage the holding of an NGO Forum at the Review Conference, contrary to UN tradition… [We call for] “a positive decision [to be] taken to enable civil society to fully contribute to a successful Durban Review Process and that financial resources are allocated to support the holding of an NGO Forum in the immediate vicinity of the official Conference site.”  See:
  • May 2008: Speech delivered in Swaziland, urging African Commission to support Durban process. “Nord Sud XXI wishes to make use of its vantage point as an NGO founded by almost two dozen of Africa’s most respected independence leaders and its position as an NGO active at the United Nations both in New York and Geneva to bring to your attention some matters of concern…. While this [Durban] process is strongly supported by all people of Africa, who still suffer from the scars of past discrimination as well as contemporary forms of discrimination and intolerance, there are others who seek to stop the Review Conference or limit its remit so as to backtrack on commitments made in Durban in 2001. Most of this resistance to the 2009 Review Conference has come from outside Africa. Nevertheless, this resistance can only succeed if Africans remain silent. We urge the Commission to publicly express its support for the 2009 Durban Review Conference and to ensure that the Review Conference it builds on the progress achieved in 2001….” Statement by Nord Sud XXI to the 43rd Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Euzulwini, Swaziland, May 2008. See:
  • June 2008: Nord Sud XXI makes joint statement to UN with group that distributed anti-Semitic literature at 2001 Durban conference. Nord-Sud XXI made a joint statement to the UN Human Rights Council in support of Durban II together with the Arab Lawyers Union, the group that was condemned by High Commissioner Mary Robinson in 2001 for distributing an anti-Semitic Hitler flyer, as well as the General Arab Women Federation and the Union of Arab Jurists.  In August 2008, at the Paris UNDPI NGO conference, Nord Sud XXI also co-sponsored an event with the Arab Lawyers Union.
  • September 19, 2008: Nord Sud XXI, in address to UN Human Rights Council, demands NGO Forum, attacks Durban skeptics. “We can imagine that all states, and indeed the United Nations itself, through the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, will strongly support the Review Conference, will speak out against those who try to oppose the conference, will support the efforts of NGOs to organize a strong NGO Forum, and will ensure that civil society can contribute to the Durban Review Conference.”
  • October 2008: Nord Sud XXI is key player at meetings to plan NGO Forum.
    On the sidelines of the October 2008 Durban II prep session, a coalition of fringe groups met over three days, Oct 15-17, to to plan a NGO Forum. Nord Sud XXI played a key role at each meeting, urging the UN to adopt a decision to organize a NGO Forum, nominating themselves to be on the coordinating committee for it, and making statements attacking Israel.


Nord Sud XXI Role as Agitator at 2001 Durban Conference

In all the literature on  the 2001 Durban conference, it’s not clear that observers ever appreciated the particular role played by this Libyan GONGO.

  • June 26-28, 2001:  Nord Sud XXI convened African conference in Goree, Senegal, in advance of Durban conference. A co-sponsor of the event was UIDH, which received $100,000 in funding from Libya after Nord Sud XXI recommended them for the Qaddafi Prize. Speaking on behalf of Nord Sud XXI was Nuri D. El Hamedi of Libya (listed in a October 2008 news report as secretary-general of the Muammar Qaddafi Human Rights Prize Committee, and as secretary of the Libyan Popular General Committee of Culture and Information):

Au nom du Président Ahmed Ben Bella, empêché par des contraintes majeures d’être avec nous, et au nom de l’organisation Nord-Sud XXI, c’est avec un immense plaisir que nous saluons tous les participants à cette Conférence. . . Aujourd’hui, quand Maommar Khadafi réaffirme la nécessité de la création de l’Union Africaine et appelle les Etats arabes à la soutenir, voire à entretenir des rapports stratégiques avec elle, il appelle en réalité à faire revivre l’alliance scellée autrefois entre Gamal Abdel Nasser, Ahmed Ben Bella, Kwamé Nkrumah, Ahmed Sekhou Touré, Patrice Lumumba et d’autres combattants dans Cette région en tant que partie indivisible du mouvement de libération africaine.  See,%20Gorée.pdf, at 21.

  • January 2002: Joint statement to UN Human Rights Council, with affiliated group Centre Europe-Tiers Monde (CETIM), in praise of the 2001 Durban conference. Click for text.  Nord Sud XXI has funded CETIM, a fellow Geneva NGO, by granting it the Kadhafi Prize cash award in the year 2000. (See note 33 here.)  

Durban Deception: Libyans Using Front Organization to Subvert NGO Movement

That Libya chairs the Durban II “anti-racism” process, which culminates in the April 20-24, 2009 Durban Review Conference in Geneva, is bad enough. Far more dangerous, however, is Libya’s hidden campaign to subvert the NGO (non-governmental organization) movement, using a Libyan front-organization to instigate an innocent-sounding campaign for a “NGO Forum.”

On its face, nothing could be more desirable for a human rights conference than to have a broad gathering of non-governmental organizations, to allow the world’s unheard voices to speak.  NGOs are often the backbone of whatever positive comes out of the UN human rights system. Which is exactly why repressive regimes often try to stifle them.

Tragically, however, the repressive regimes are even more clever than that. Instead of waging only open battle against the NGO movement, which enjoys a powerful aura of respect in the media and other influential circles, the anti-democratic countries long ago realized that, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.”

Over the years, they created “GONGOs”, groups that are NGOs in name — with UN accreditation that allows official participation at world conferences — but that are in fact “Government-Operated NGOs.” Cuba, China, and Sudan all have their GONGOs, state-funded and controlled, who show up at UN conferences to spout the respective party lines and deny human rights violations and atrocities.

The objective is for diplomats, non-governmental delegates, and the broader world to believe that the regimes’ propaganda is the legitimate view of idealistic activist groups that represent the people. These groups obviously fail to meet the official UN criteria for NGOs, but get a pass from the highly politicized accreditation process.

This is exactly what is happening now in the preparation for Durban II. One of the groups lobbying hardest for the April conference to feature another “NGO Forum” — just like the event in 2001 that degenerated into an anti-Western, anti-Israel and anti-Semtic hatefest, and which was condemned by the United Nations, Human Rights Watch and other leading NGOs — is the Geneva-based “North South 21” (known in French as “Nord Sud 21”), a Libyan GONGO. Another coalition member is EAFORD, an openly anti-Semitic group, also created in Libya, that, in a September 2008 statement to the UN, accused “Jews everywhere” of “allowing Israel to inflict [a Holocaust] on the Palestinian people.”

To spell it out: What we have here is a Libyan-led “NGO” campaign demanding a NGO Forum from the Libyan-led governmental committee planning the conference. Qaddafi has the whole world over a barrel. It’s the greatest scam since the invention of three card monte.

Click on to see North South 21’s dedicated webpage for promoting a repeat of the 2001 hatefest, all in the supposed name of the legitimate NGO movement. Joining it are a motley group of radical anti-Israel and anti-Western organization, knowing enablers, and naive fellow travelers in the anti-racism cause.


What do we know about North South 21?

 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 1996 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 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 (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).  

The British press has also reported North-South XXI’s role in awarding the Prize. See “Gaddafi human rights prize for two dock strike wives,” The Daily Mail (London), September 4, 1997 (stating that Prize “[r]ecipients are chosen annually by a Geneva-based organisation called Nord-Sud 21.”) (see Attachment 9 here).

Even Geneva’s left-wing daily Le Temps, which is generally avoids criticizing Geneva’s UN industry, said this about North South 21, in an August 30, 2002 article:

The Kadhafi Prize [for Human Rights] is managed in Geneva by North-South 21, which claims to be an organization for the defense of human rights. . . . It is worth noting that North-South 21 does not want to mention the financial investment of Tripoli in the Geneva center. The organization issues many periodicals and other publications but none mentions the name of the provider of funds.  (Le Prix Kadhafi est géré à Genève par Nord-Sud 21 qui se veut une organisation de défense des droits de l’homme… Force est de constater que Nord-Sud 21 ne veut pas évoquer l’investissement financier de Tripoli dans le centre genevois. L’organisation dispose de plusieurs périodiques et autre publications à thème mais aucun ne mentionne le nom du bailleur de fonds.)

See “Un deuxième spectacle autour du Prix Kadhafi,” Le Temps, 30 août 2000 (see Attachment 10 here).  See also “Les Noirs demandent réparation pour l’esclavage,” Le Temps, 7 août 2001 (describing North-South XXI as “an NGO installed in Geneva and tied to Libya” and discussing a symposium “ordered and financed by Libya through North-South XXI.”) (see Attachment 11 here).

While all of the facts are out there, Geneva UN circles tend to pretend that North South 21 is a legitimate group instead of a Libyan GONGO.


A past winner also has attributed the Prize to North-South XXI.  See Website of Union interafricaine des Droits de l’Homme (UIDH), at (noting that it won the Khaddafi Prize at the “proposal of the NGO North-South XXI.”).  Indeed, in a posting on the Human Rights Internet website, UIDH used the fact that the Khaddafi Prize is granted by a northern NGO, based in Geneva with ECOSOC status, to argue against those who criticized it for accepting Libyan money.  See (describing how, after UIDH won the Prize, many of its partner institutions stopped funding it because of the Libya affiliation, and arguing that this was incorrect in light of the Prize being awarded by a Northern, Geneva-based, UN-accredited NGO).

Like the Khaddafi Prize, North-South XXI was founded in 1989. In addition to awarding the Prize, North-South XXI organizes seminars and colloquia (many of which have been held in Tripoli) and issues a periodic journal of the same name. North-South XXI has special consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), which allows it to participate at UN sessions. It has argued before UN bodies against the international sanctions on Libya, without ever disclosing its connections to the Khaddafi regime. See Written Statement of North-South XXI to the Commission on Human Rights, 55th Session (E/CN.4/1999/NGO/40) (arguing against sanctions in general and against the sanctions on Libya in particular); Written Statement of North-South XXI to the Commission on Human Rights, 54th Session (E/CN.4/1998/NGO/83) (arguing that sanctions against Libya violate children’s rights).

North-South XXI is located in Geneva at rue Ferdinand-Hodler, number 17. Its director is Ahmad Soueissi, and its chairman is Ahmed Ben Bella. Mr. Ben Bella and Mr. Soueissi are also chairman and secretary, respectively, of a similarly-named organization at the same address: the Institut Nord-Sud pour le dialogue intercultural. The vice-chairman of the Institut Nord-Sud, according to official records of the canton of Geneva, is Jean Ziegler.  See Entry for Institut Nord-Sud pour le dialogue interculturel, Registre du commerce de Genève, at (see Attachment 14 here).

Several websites identify the Institut as the source of the North-South XXI journal, and one describes it as “presided over by Jean Ziegler.” See “Le Monde Diplomatique, Revues,” at; Philippe Corcuff, Liste des publications, at (listing one article as follows: “Avec Éric Doidy et Domar Idrissi, “S’émanciper des langues de bois : originalité du langage zapatiste”, dans Club Merleau-Ponty, La pensée confisquée – Quinze idées reçues qui bloquent le débat public, 1997, Paris : La Découverte; réédité en 2001, Nord-Sud XXI (Institut Nord-Sud pour le dialogue interculturel, Genève), n°16 (4)”).

The Institut Nord-Sud is managed and financed by the Fondation Nord-Sud pour le dialogue interculturel. See Entry for Fondation Nord Sud pour le dialogue interculturel, Registre du commerce de Genève, at (see Attachment 15 here).

The Fondation have the same street address as North-South XXI and the Institut. The Fondation’s address in the Geneva registry of commerce is in care of a Geneva fiduciary society.  However, an entity called the Nord-Sud Fondation,, is also found at rue Ferdinand-Hodler 17, and has the same phone number, fax number, email address, and director as North-South XXI (see Attachment 16 here).

The officers of the Fondation are the same as of the Institute: Mr. Ben Bella, chairman; Mr. Ziegler, vice-chairman; and Mr. Soueissi, secretary. See also Entry for Fondation Nord Sud pour le dialogue interculturel, Registre du commerce de Genève, at at (see Attachment 15 here).�

Qaddafi Rights Prize Awarded to Former Malta PM for ‘Defending Palestinian and Iraqi Oppressed Peoples’

No shame: Even with the Qaddafi servant-beating and hostage episode still unresolved, the Libyan human rights prize has decided to announce its annual award. The two Maltese news articles below mention the prize-founding role of Jean Ziegler, still denied by the member of the UN Human Rights Council Advisory Committee. (At the committee’s inaugural session, Ziegler, who was nominated to his new post by Swiss Foreign Minster Micheline Calmy-Rey, this week was busy supporting Russia’s phony self-determination claims in its war with Georgia.)

Continue reading ‘Qaddafi Rights Prize Awarded to Former Malta PM for ‘Defending Palestinian and Iraqi Oppressed Peoples’’

Libya Preaches to Durban II on Racism Against Maids, as Qaddafi Jr. Arrested for Beating Maids

Many newspapers over the past few weeks have reported on Libya’s hostile measures against Switzerland and its citizens. Few, though, have noted the irony of it all, a part of which relates to the United Nations.

The Incident

The conflict began after Hannibal, the youngest son of Libyan dictator Col. Muammar Qaddafi, and his wife Aline were arrested by Geneva police in their luxury hotel, which is situated next to the UN human rights office. Two of their servants, a Moroccan man and a Tunisian woman, had complained of being beaten with a belt and coat hanger, causing hotel staff to call in the authorities. (The desert despot’s 32-year-old son has a long record of violent run-ins with the law across European capitals.)

The couple were charged with assault. Hannibal spent two evenings in detention while his wife, who came to Geneva to give birth, was transferred to a maternity unit. Released on $500,000 bail, they flew back to Libya escorted by doctors from Geneva’s main hospital.

Qaddafi’s Revenge

Retaliation was swift. Aisha Qadaffi, sister of the accused, warned that her country would respond on the principle of “an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.” The Brother Leader and Guide of the Revolution halted all oil shipments to the Helvetic confederation. Swiss companies in Libya, including Nestlé, were shut down or padlocked, and diplomats sent packing. Two Swiss nationals were seized as hostages. “Spontaneous” demonstrations against the Swiss aggressor erupted in the capital.

The outrage has ebbed, but the crisis remains. Today’s Tribune de Geneve reports that Foreign Minster Micheline Calmy-Rey may head on a special mission to Libya. Which bring us to the irony of it all.

Swiss Ironies

Of all Western democracies, the current Swiss government must be the last to ever have imagined being targeted by mad Middle East dictators, who have always felt so at home at Geneva’s hotels, boutiques and banks — so much so, that their spoiled progeny jet over to have their babies born there.

Some say Foreign Minister Calmy-Rey stumbled in her early handling of the current crisis. No wonder. She must have been in a state of shock.

After all, was it not she who, to seal a $28 billion gas deal, recently visited with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, at a time when no other self-respecting democratic leader would do the same? Did she not go the extra mile to pose smilingly with the world’s most dangerous fomentor of racist hatred, even donning the Islamic headscarf, for added measure? Did she not keep silent over the brutal human rights situation in Iran, despite being asked to speak out by Shirin Ebadi, the renowned women’s rights advocate?

But it’s more.

The current Swiss government has always profited from special ties with Qaddafi – the extent to which the current episode has highlighted as never before. It turns out that half of Switzerland’s oil comes from Libya. That Libyan company Tamoil owns one of Switzerland’s two oil refineries and runs 320 filling stations in the country. The Libyans also threatened to withdraw their assets from Swiss banks. And how much is that? Some $6 billion.

But it’s more, more than just oil, investments and trade. It’s political and moral support. In the past year, Calmy-Rey and her diplomats worldwide waged a massive campaign to elect her Geneva friend Jean Ziegler — the 1989 co-founder of the “Muammar Qaddafi Human Rights Prize” — as a senior adviser to the UN Human Rights Council. When the vote was won, Swiss UN ambassador Blaise Godet literally embraced his colleague from Cuba’s Castro regime, Ziegler’s other favorite government, thereby revealing another unholy alliance.

This week in Geneva the council’s advisors feted Ziegler at their inaugural session, while choosing as their chair the Cuban Alfonso Martinez — whose long record on a predecessor UN body included killing a resolution for the Kurdish victims gassed by Saddam in Halabja. When the current stand-off was ignited in July, Swiss newspaper Le Matin suggested Ziegler as a natural mediator. “I think Qaddafi appreciates me as a writer and intellectual, because he reads my books which are translated into Arabic in Cairo,” Ziegler told the newspaper. “There is a relationship of mutual respect and listening between us,” said Ziegler, from his place of vacation in Calabria, Italy.

However, the newspaper noted, “the sociologist categorically refuses to comment on the current crisis between Switzerland and Libya.” Nor did Ziegler ever say a word — or lift a finger – over all the years that the Bulgarian nurses and Palestinian doctor were cruelly held hostage in Libyan jails.

Durban II: Libya Pledges to Confront “New Form of Racism Related to Maids”  

Perhaps the greatest unspoken irony is that of Libya’s role. The country currently chairs the planning of the April 2009 Durban Review Conference, the UN’s next world conference against racism and intolerance. In advance of an African preparatory session later this month, Libya has just submitted a UN questionnaire on its policies and practices.

Here we learn that the sixth principle of Qaddafi’s Green Charter “defines Libya’s society of non-discrimination.” And that the penal code “does not discriminate between local or foreign workers in Libya.”  And that Article 420 prohibits “all forms of slavery” and “forced labor.” Finally, “Libya does not only not practice racism but we combat the practice of regimes against the African people.” How? By confronting — get this — a “new form of racism related to house helpers (maids).” No less.

Yes, over the next year the world shall look to the Guide of the Revolution to guide us all on how to treat foreigners, how to practice tolerance, and — as its most shining example — how to treat house helpers and maids.

Meanwhile, in Libya, the mother of the abused Moroccan servant has been thrown into jail, and his brother forced into hiding.

Eventually, a deal will be struck, Calmy-Rey will kowtow before Qaddafi, the criminal case will be closed. Hannibal will then be free to return to his beloved Lake Geneva playground.

As Libya’s leading expert on how to address what it calls a new form of racism — how to treat house helpers — why not have Hannibal Qaddafi take the place of the current Libyan represenative and personally head the UN’s Durban II process? More than anyone, he will appreciate the job’s diplomatic immunity.

Libyan GONGO “North South 21” Asks Libyan Chair of Durban II for “NGO Forum”

Libyan GONGO North South 21 — a “Government Operated NGO”, or front organization — helped organize a joint letter to the Libyan head of the Durban II planning committee, demanding the UN allocate space for a “NGO Forum” adjacent to the conference, as well as funding to fly in activists from around the world, and castigated UN officials who dared to disagree. North South 21 hosts the letter on its dedicated website page lobbying for the NGO Forum. See full text below.




Geneva, Switzerland, 26 May 2008
H.E. Najat Al-Hajjaji
Chairperson of the Preparatory Committee of the Durban Review

Dear Mme Chairperson,

We are writing this letter to convey through you, to the Members of the Preparatory Committee, our strong desire as Non-Governmental Organizations and anti-racist movements to contribute to the successful preparations for the Durban Review Conference in 2009.
We believe that given the upsurge in racist practices in different parts of the world and the little attention given to the implementation of the Durban Declaration and Program of Action since its adoption, this Review Conference is greatly needed and must be given maximum support. In order for the Durban Review Conference to succeed, a dynamic partnership is needed between the UN, Governments and civil society in support of the Conference s aims and objectives. We wish to emphasize that strong mobilization of Non-Governmental Organizations and the holding of an NGO Forum have been an indispensable part of every major UN conference or special session since the landmark Stockholm Environment Conference in 1972.

Also at the 2001 World Conference Against Racism, the NGO Forum was an important catalyst for many victim groups to come together, network, interact and build support for the work against racism and discrimination. We are deeply concerned over the failure by the Conference Secretariat
to provide timely information and invitations to NGOs to participate in the meetings of the Preparatory Committee despite the unequivocal decisions taken by the Preparatory Committee that NGOs accredited to the World Conference Against Racism shall be invited. We are equally concerned
over recent remarks by representatives of the UN Secretariat which tend to discourage the holding of an NGO Forum at the Review Conference, contrary to UN tradition.

We strongly believe in the necessity of a vigorous public mobilization effort for the Durban Review Conference. This includes efforts by Non-Governmental Organizations, victim groups and anti-racist
movements who must receive the full support of both the Preparatory Committee and the United Nations Secretariat, in particular the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

In the view of the undersigned it is necessary that a positive decision is taken to enable civil society to fully contribute to a successful Durban Review Process and that financial resource are allocated to support the holding of an NGO Forum in the immediate vicinity of the official Conference site.

Signed by (in chronological order):
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)
International Youth and Student Movement for the United Nations (ISMUN)
Interfaith International
Comite International pour le Respect et l’Application de la
Charte Africaine des Droits de l Homme et des Peuples (CIRAC)
Action Internationale Paix et Developpment Grands Lacs (AIPD-GLJ)
December 12th Movement
The Aldet Centre, Saint Lucia
African Canadian Legal Clinic
North-South XXI
IUS Primi Viri
Indian Movement Tupa Amaru
World Peace Council
International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial
Discrimination (EAFORD)
Mouvement Socio-cultural pour le development des
Mbororo (MBOSCUDA)
Global Rights
Agence des cites pour la cooperation Nord-Sud
Comission Africaine des Promoteurs a le Sante des droits de l’Homme (CAPSDH)
Espacio Afroamericano International
Culture of Afroindigenous Solidarity
Swedish Centre Against Racism Afro-Swedish National Association
National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (NCOBRA)
Guinee Development (GUIDE)
Mouvement de la Paix (France)
Chinese Canadian National Council
National Anti-Racism Council of Canada
Metro Toronto Chinese & Southeast Asian Legal Clinic
International Coordination des ONG Africaines des droit de l’Homme (CONGAF)
Academie africaine pour la Paix (ACAP)
Urban Alliance on Race Relations
South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario
Espacio Afroamericano
Swedish-Somali Institute
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
Zimbabwe Exiles Forum
Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe
Legal Resources Centre
Wendy Isaack
Kituo Chakatiba
Citizens Governance Initiatives
Alliances for Africa
NCC, National Counseling Centre
Center for Minority Rights Development
Women of Law Association
Foundation for Human Rights Initiative
FHRI Africa Leadership and Governance Institute
NOON Center for Legal Consultation and Human Rights.

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