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UN Security Council unanimously imposes sanctions on Libya

The UN Security Council [official website] on Saturday voted unanimously [press release] to impose sanctions on Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi [NYT profile], marking the first unanimous referral to the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] in UN history. Resolution 1970 [text] also received support from Libya's delegation itself, which renounced Gaddafi on Friday [Reuters report]. Libya's UN Ambassador Abdurrahman Shalgam, who use to be a close confidant of Gaddafi, stated [NY Times report] that the resolution could help end the "fascist regime" in the north African country. The sanctions include an arms embargo, the freezing of assets, and a travel ban on 16 Libyan leaders. Although Libya is not a signatory to the Rome Statute [text], which created the ICC, the Security Council voted that it should nonetheless be subject to its investigation.

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 [JURIST report]. 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. 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 [transcript] and for the Council to rise to action. 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.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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