UN Human Rights Report Praises Libya

Thursday, March 03, 2011
Joyful dictators...Ali Abdullah Saleh, Muammar al-Gaddafi, Hosni Mubarak (photo: Asmaa Waguih, Reuters)
Perhaps the United Nations Human Rights Council has been living under a rock. How else to explain its preparing to adopt a report praising Libya for its human rights record while the rest of the UN considers whether to suspend the country from the international body for its recent attacks on citizens.
As part of its “periodic review” of countries’ records on human rights, the council began preparing a report on Libya a while back. All fine and well. But the regime of Muammar al-Gadaffi has not been known for its fair treatment of political dissidents or having fair and impartial elections, and yet numerous countries—especially other Arab and Islamic dictatorships—decided to say plenty of nice things about the North African state now in complete turmoil.
For example, Saudi Arabia commended Libya’s “achievements in its constitutional, legislative and institutional frameworks, which showed the importance that the country attached to human rights, and for the fact that international treaties took precedence over its national legislation,” reads the report.
Syria praised Libya for “its democratic regime based on promoting the people’s authority through the holding of public conferences, which enhanced development and respect for human rights,”
Vietnam took note of the Libyan government’s “protection and promotion of the human rights of its people, particularly the country’s accession to the main international human rights conventions.”
Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a Geneva-based human rights monitoring organization, called the report “a fraud” and “an insult to Libya’s victims” and said it should be withdrawn immediately. 
-Noel Brinkerhoff


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