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Accusation: UN rights council nominee Jean Ziegler engaged in massive cover-up over his role in creating & receiving the Muammar Qaddafi Human Rights Prize

UN Watch demands Ziegler apologize for lying to the Swiss people and FM Didier Burkhalter, or will release damning dossier, new photo & video evidence

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GENEVA, September 20, 2013 – A controversial nominee to the U.N. Human Rights Council was today given a 72-hour ultimatum to confess that for the past month he has been engaged in a massive cover-up by lying to the Swiss media over his ties to the Qaddafi Prize, and to withdraw his nomination for the election to be held in the middle of next week. See below the letter sent today to Jean Ziegler.

Although the Swiss parliament’s foreign affairs committee condemned Ziegler’s nomination as “inappropriate,” and U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power said he was “unfit,” Switzerland continues to be his official sponsor. That may change when Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter discovers the extent to which Ziegler lied to him and the Swiss people.

UN Watch is an independent, Geneva-based human rights NGO that over the past decade was the leading group protesting the election of Qaddafi represenatives to key positions in the UN human rights system, and which represented the tortured Bulgarian nurses, the brother of Fathi Eljahmi, and other famous victims and dissidents of the Qaddafi regime.

UN Watch was founded 20 years ago this month by legendary civil rights activist Morris Abram, who worked closely with Rev. Martin Luther King. In the 1960s, Abram served with distinction on the very same UN human rights advisory committee, then known as the Sub-Commission, which Ziegler’s potential membership threatens to dishonor.

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Following is the UN Watch letter sent today.

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20 September 2013

Dear Mr. Ziegler,

We demand that within the next 72 hours you:

(a) Confess that for the past month you have lied to and deceived the Swiss people by engaging in a massive cover-up concerning your significant connections with the Muammar Qaddafi Prize for Human Rights, including announcing its creation in 1989, and then receiving the prize in Tripoli at the award ceremony held on the evening of 29 September 2002;

(b) Apologize to the Swiss people, and specifically to Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter, for knowingly deceiving them; and

(c) Acknowledge that your actions of lying and intentionally deceiving the Swiss people on such a massive scale violates the “High moral standing” criteria for election to the UN Human Rights Council Advisory Committee (Res HRC 5/1, par. 67), and announce the withdrawal of your nomination.

If you fail to do so by this Monday, 23 September, UN Watch will release a newly-acquired dossier of documentary, photographic and video evidence concerning the above, which is liable to cause embarassment to those who publicly supported your nomination.

Sincerely,

Hillel C. Neuer
Executive Director

cc:  Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter
UN Human Rights Council President Remigiusz A. Henczel
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay

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