The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) [official website] on Friday adopted a resolution [text, DOC] condemning the recent violence in Libya and ordering an international inquiry into alleged abuses. During a special session, the 47-member council unanimously adopted the resolution, which also calls upon the Libyan government to protect its population and respect the will of its people. According to the resolution, the UNHRC:
Expresses deep concern with the situation in Libya, strongly condemns the recent gross and systematic human rights violations committed in Libya, including indiscriminate armed attacks against civilians, extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests, detention and torture of peaceful demonstrators, some of which may also amount to crimes against humanity; [and] Decides to urgently dispatch an independent, international commission of inquiry, to be appointed by the President of the Council, to investigate all alleged violations of international human rights law in Libya.UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay [official profile] spoke to the UNHRC [JURIST report] earlier Friday, calling for the Libyan government to stop the violence directed at protesters [statement] for the Council to rise to action.
The situation in Libya has escalated over days of continued protests and violent suppression by security forces. On Wednesday, Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official profile] said that the ICC cannot investigate possible crimes in Libya [JURIST report] because the country is not a party to the Rome Statute [materials]. The statement came after Pillay said earlier this week that the Libyan government's response to recent protests may amount to crimes against humanity [JURIST report]. Pillay cited the use of machine guns, snipers and military planes against protesters, calling for an independent investigation. The protests began last week following those that have occurred throughout the Middle East and North Africa [BBC backgrounder], resulting in the resignations of Tunisian president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak [JURIST reports]. Protesters have demanded Gaddafi's resignation and government reform.