02 March 2011
The General Assembly (GA) of the United Nations has voted unanimously to suspend Libya from the UN Human Rights Council. The GA resolution accused Libya of committing gross and systematic violations of human rights. The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told the assembly: "These UN actions send a strong and important message […] that there is no impunity, that those who commit crimes against humanity will be punished, that fundamental principles of justice and accountability shall prevail." The US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, pointed out: "People who turn their guns on their own people have no place on the Human Rights Council."
On Saturday, the UN Security Council had voted unanimously to impose sanctions on the regime Muammar al-Gaddafi over its excessive use of force in dealing with the civil rebellion. The council voted for an arms embargo, asset freeze, and for referring the Libyan dictator to the International Criminal Court, for crimes against humanity.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday called on the West to impose on Iran the same tough measures it is putting in place against Gaddafi. "If the international community is applying special pressure on Libya and warning its leader and soldiers against violating civil rights, the same warning must be aimed at Iran's leaders and their henchmen," Netanyahu said. Both countries were "serial violators of human rights." He added: "At the same time as Gaddafi is massacring his opponents in Libya, the regime of the ayatollahs in Iran is systematically executing its opponents."
Meanwhile, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has warned that the situation at the Libya-Tunisia border was reaching a "crisis point" because of the high number of people trying to escape the country. According to the UN, over 70,000 people have fled the violence in Libya since the protests against leader Muammar Gaddafi began on 20 February.
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