Babylon & Beyond

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Israel, the Arab world and beyond

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LIBYA: U.N. Human Rights Council condemns violence, votes to suspend Libya

February 25, 2011 |  9:44 am

World diplomats gathered in Geneva for an emergency meeting of the U.N. Human Rights Council condemned the violence unleashed by Libyan strongman Moammar Kadafi against anti-government unrest and voted to suspend Libya from the rights body.

The 47-member council also called for investigations into atrocities allegedly committed by the Kadafi regime as it has confronted mass protests over the past 10 days demanding an end to his 41-year autocratic reign.

It was unclear what, if any, influence the world body's censure would have on the deteriorating human rights situation in Libya. Kadafi loyalists attacked protesters in Tripoli with renewed intensity after Friday prayers, killing at least four, according to news agency reports.

Kadafi appeared on state-run television while the council was meeting in the Swiss city and called on supporters to defend the country against opponents he has denounced as "rats" and stooges of terrorist kingpin Osama bin Laden.

--Carol J. Williams