The United Nations' human rights forum on Friday condemned violence by Libyan forces against protesters and launched an international investigation into atrocities which it said may amount to crimes against humanity.
The 47-member U.N. Human Rights Council unanimously adopted a resolution that denounced attacks on civilians, killings, arrests and the detention and torture of peaceful demonstrators.
It also called on the U.N. General Assembly to consider suspending Libya's right to membership in the Geneva forum in view of "gross and systematic violations of human rights by the Libyan authorities".
A two-thirds majority in the General Assembly would be required for the unprecedented suspension in the Human Rights Council, which was set up nearly five years ago.
The British and French foreign ministers, William Hague and Michele Alliot-Marie, issued separate statements welcoming the council's decision and calling for further concerted international steps, including Libya's suspension.
Hague, who will hold talks with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday in Geneva, where each will address the rights forum, said: "We will continue to press for action on Libya as there have been gross and systematic human rights violations by the Libyan authorities that are utterly unacceptable and we condemn them absolutely."
Hungarian ambassador Andras Dekany, speaking for the European Union, said he looked forward to when a "future legitimate government genuinely representing the will of the Libyan people and upholding human rights standards befitting this forum could be welcomed back into the council".
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay called for international intervention to stop mass killings.
She said thousands of people may have been killed or injured in the violence against anti-government protesters.
"I always call for independent investigations as a start, but I think in this particular situation, there's need for more state action and intervention for protection (of civilians)," Pillay, a former U.N. war crimes judge, told Reuters Television.
Libyan envoy renounced Gaddafi
Earlier, a Libyan envoy to the Geneva forum renounced links to the government of Muammar Gaddafi, announcing that his entire delegation now represented the "free will" of the Libyan people.
Diplomats in the hall applauded the surprise announcement by Adel Shaltut, a diplomat at Libya's delegation to the U.N. in Geneva, during the one-day special session on the Libyan crisis.
"We in the Libyan mission have categorically decided to serve as representatives of the Libyan people and their free will. We only represent the Libyan people," he said.
ReutersGüncelleme Tarihi: 26 Şubat 2011, 10:03