GENEVA, February 23, 2011 – 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 — breaking with 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 diplomatic obfuscation.”
Draft resolution circulated today by Hungary for the European Union.
Situation of human rights in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
The Human Rights Council,
Reaffirming the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and relevant international human rights instruments,
Recalling General Assembly resolution 60/251 of 15 March 2006,
Recalling further Council resolution 5/1 and 5/2 of 18 June 2007,
Reaffirming that all states have an obligation to protect the rights to life, liberty and security of the person;
Welcoming the statement of the High Commissioner for Human Rights of 22 February 2011 calling for international investigation into Libyan violence and justice for victims;
Also welcoming the statement of the OIC Secretary General of 20 February 2011;
- Strongly condemns the recent extremely grave human rights violations committed in Libya, including extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests, detention and torture of peaceful demonstrators, which if wide-spread and systematic, may amount to crimes against humanity,
- Strongly calls upon the Libyan authorities to immediately put an end to all human rights violations, to stop any violations against civilians, and to fully respect all human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression and freedom of assembly,
- Strongly calls for the immediate release of all arbitrarily detained persons,
- Also urges Libyan authorities to ensure the safety of all civilians, including citizens of third countries, to refrain from any reprisals against people who have taken part in the demonstrations, and to facilitate the departure of those foreign nationals wishing to leave the country.
- Urges Libyan authorities to immediately cease the blocking of public access to the internet and mobile phone networks and cease intimidation, persecution and arbitrary arrests of individuals including lawyers, human rights defenders and journalists;
- Urges Libyan authorities to do their utmost efforts to prevent further deterioration of the crisis and to promote a peaceful solution ensuring safety for all civilians and stability for the country
- Urgently calls for an open, inclusive, meaningful and national dialogue aimed at political reform and promotion and protection of human rights,
- Strongly calls upon the Libyan authorities to cooperate fully with Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council and guarantee access to human rights and humanitarian organisations including human rights monitors,
- Decides to establish an independent, impartial and credible UN led international investigation into the human rights violations in Libya to ensure that there is full accountability for those responsible for violations,
- Requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to submit an interim report to the Council at its 16th session under agenda item 4 on the human rights situation in Libya, and to submit a follow-up report to the 17th session.