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Pillay calls for international inquiry into Libyan violence and justice for victims

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
22 February 2011
UN human rights chief Navi Pillay on Tuesday called for immediate cessation of the grave human rights violations committed by Libyan authorities and urged an independent international investigation into the violent suppression of protests in the country. (…)
(…) “The callousness with which Libyan authorities and their hired guns are reportedly shooting live rounds of ammunition at peaceful protestors is unconscionable. I am extremely worried that lives are being lost even as I speak,” Pillay said.
“The international community must unite in condemnation of such acts and make unequivocal commitments to ensure justice is rendered to the thousands of victims of this repression.”
Citing the reported use of machine guns, snipers and military planes against demonstrators, Pillay said such extremely serious allegations of acts committed in brazen defiance of international law must not go without a full and independent investigation. Accountability was key, she added.
“The state has an obligation to protect the rights to life, liberty and security,” she said.
“Protection of civilians should always be the paramount consideration in maintaining order and the rule of law. The authorities should immediately cease such illegal acts of violence against demonstrators. Widespread and systematic attacks against the civilian population may amount to crimes against humanity. ” (…)
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