UN rights body recommends suspension of Libya

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Betwa Sharma

United Nations, Feb 26 (PTI) The UN Human Rights Councilhas unanimously passed a resolution recommending suspension ofLibya from the Geneva-based body and decided to conduct anindependent probe into violations by the Gaddafi regime, whichhas launched a bloody crackdown on anti-government protesters.

The 47-nation body''s recommendation to suspend Libyaneeds to be approved by a two-thirds majority at the192-member United Nations General Assembly here.

The UN''s top rights body also decided to "urgentlydispatch an independent, international commission ofinquiry... to investigate all alleged violations ofinternational human rights law in Libya."

"It (the move) must now go further," Gerard Araud, Frenchenvoy to the UN, said here yesterday.

"We call on the president of the General Assembly toconvene as soon as possible a session of the General Assemblyto confirm its (Libya''s) suspension (from UN Human RightsCouncil)."

As the UN body in Geneva passed its resolution, theLibyan envoy there made an emotional public announcement ofhis defection.

"We in the Libyan mission have categorically decided toserve as representatives of the Libyan people and their freewill," the diplomat, who wished not to be named, told theCouncil, according to media reports.

"We only represent the Libyan people, we will serve astheir representative in this august body and in otherinternational fora."

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Hillary Clintonwelcomed the move by the UN Human Rights Council, condemninghuman rights violations and violence committed by the Libyangovernment against its own people.

"We strongly support the Council''s establishment ofan independent commission of inquiry to investigate theseviolations with a view towards ensuring that those responsibleare held accountable," Clinton said in a statement. (More) PTIBS/LKJ

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