Human Rights Council
15th SPECIAL SESSION ON the Situation of Human Rights in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
25 February 2011
I am honored to speak on behalf of CIVICUS, The Arab NGO Network for Development and GCAP, the Global Call to Action against Poverty. A more comprehensive statement has been delivered as a written document.
We welcome the holding of this Special Session as an immediate and effective response to the ongoing gross and systematic human rights violations committed in Lybia. We are outraged by Colonel Ghadafi most recent threats to peaceful demonstrators to “cleanse Libya house by house” until protesters would give up, not excluding shooting them from the air. Arbitrary detentions and killings are now reaching the number of thousands.
The international community must now turn expression of grave concern into action and the UN member states must endorse their “Responsibility to Protect” commitment without any further delay.
This session today is the right space to reiterate UN member states’ commitment to their obligations to respect, protect and fulfill their citizen’s freedom of assembly and association to freely express their opinions through non-violent rallies and demonstrations and provide protection for human rights defenders and to hold to account those responsible for attacks on civilians.
We particular urge the Council:
- To call upon the UNGA to 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.
- To dispatch immediately an international mission of independent experts to collect relevant facts and document violations of international human rights law and crimes against humanity.
- To establish a mandate of special procedures with regards to the human rights violations taking place in Libya.
- To call upon the UN Security Council for creation of commission on inquiry to investigate what has been referred to by Libyan UN officials as “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity”.
- To call for the immediate release of people arbitrarily detained during the ongoing protests, and assert that there should be no reprisals against people who have taken part in demonstrations.
- To condemn restrictions which undermine access to information and violate freedom of expression, such as the blocking of internet services and telecommunications and attacks against media professionals.
- To address the Libyan situation at its upcoming 16th regular session in March.
Thank you for your attention.