UN Human Rights Body May Kick Libya Out

As US, Europe weigh sanctions
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2011 8:17 AM CST
UN Human Rights Body May Kick Libya Out
People carry their belongings after they fled Libya at the Tunisia-Libya border, near the village of Ras Ajdir, Tunisia, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011.   (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

The United States will support efforts to expel Libya from the 47-member UN Human Rights committee, in what would be an unprecedented suspension of one of its own members. "The crackdown in Libya of peaceful demonstrations is escalating alarmingly with reported mass killings, arbitrary arrests, detention and torture of protesters," said the UN's top human rights official in an emergency session today in Geneva. "Thousands may have been killed or injured." It was only last May that Libya was elected to the body as part of a series of attempts at political rehabilitation on the world stage, reports the AP.

A State Department spokesman said they are also looking to impose sanctions on Libya, teaming with EU countries to turn up the pressure. A German official outlined an initial sanctions plan today that will include a weapons embargo, asset freezes, and a travel embargo for Gadhafi's family. Says a State Department official, "Taking this step continues the increased isolation that the Libyan government is facing. "The United States will also support efforts to establish a UN-led probe into "gross and systematic violations of human rights by the Libyan authorities." (Read more Moammar Gadhafi stories.)

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