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Posted at 7:34 PM ET, 03/ 1/2011

Senate passes Libya resolution

By Felicia Sonmez

The Senate passed Tuesday a resolution calling for the resignation of Moammar Gaddafi as well as new steps against the Libyan leader, including the possible establishment of a no-fly zone over Libyan territory.

The resolution, sponsored by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), was approved Tuesday night by unanimous voice vote. It calls on Gaddafi to "desist from further violence, recognize the Libyan people's demand for democratic change, resign his position and permit a peaceful transition to democracy governed by respect for human and civil rights and the right of the people to choose their government in free and fair elections."

It also condemns the recent violence against civilians in the country and endorses the U.N. Security Council's recent referral of the situation in Libya to the International Criminal Court.

Menendez said in a statement that Gaddafi "stands alone. The world stands united against him and his regime's brutality. His track record of terror is known -- from the bombing of Pam Am Flight 103, which killed 270 people, to his brutal repression of the Libyan people as demonstrated by the massacre of 1,200 detainees killed at Abu Salim Prison in June 1996. Today, we stand with the Libyan people today as they demand the right to choose their own government and to live in a state that respects and guarantees basic human and civil rights."

Gaddafi, he added, "must go."

The full text of the resolution is after the jump.

112th CONGRESS

1st Session

Strongly condemning the gross and systematic violations of human rights in Libya, including violent attacks on protesters demanding democratic reforms, and for other purposes.

Mr. MENENDEZ (for himself and Mr. Kirk, Mr. Lautenberg, Mr. Durbin, Mrs. Gillibrand, Mr. Sanders, Mr. Whitehouse, Mr. Schumer, Mr, Wyden, Mr. Casey, Mr. Cardin, Mr. Levin) submitted the following resolution:

RESOLUTION

Strongly condemning the gross and systematic violations of human rights in Libya, including violent attacks on protesters demanding democratic reforms, and for other purposes.

Whereas Muammar Qadhafi and his regime have engaged in gross and systematic violations of human rights, including violent attacks on protesters demanding democratic reforms, that have killed thousands of people;

Whereas Muammar Qadhafi, his sons and supporters have instigated and authorized violent attacks on Libyan protesters using warplanes, helicopters, snipers and soldiers and continue to threaten the life and well-being of any person voicing opposition to the Qadhafi regime;

Whereas the United Nations Security Council and the international community have condemned the violence and use of force against civilians in Libya and on February 26, 2011, the United Nations Security Council unanimously agreed to refer the situation in Libya to the International Criminal Court; impose an arms embargo on the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including the provision of mercenary personnel; freeze the financial assets of Muammar Qadhafi and certain family members; and impose a travel ban on Qadhafi, certain family members and senior advisors;

Whereas Muammar Qadhafi has ruled Libya for more than 40 years by banning and brutally opposing any individual or group opposing the ideology of his 1969 revolution; criminalizing the peaceful exercise of expression and association; refusing to permit independent journalists' and lawyers' organizations; and engaging in torture and extrajudicial executions, including the 1,200 detainees killed in Abu Salim Prison in June 1996;

Whereas Libya took formal responsibility for the terrorist attack that brought down Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 270 people, 189 of whom were U.S. citizens and high-ranking Libyan officials have indicated that Muammar Qadhafi personally ordered the attack; and

Whereas Libya was elected to the UN Human Rights Council on May 13, 2010 for a period of three years, sending a demoralizing message of indifference to the families of the victims of Pan Am flight 103 and Libyan citizens that have endured repression, arbitrary arrest, enforced disappearance or physical assault in their struggle to obtain basic human and civil rights.

Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the United States Senate--

(1) applauds the courage of the Libyan people in standing up against the brutal dictatorship of Muammar Qadhafi and for demanding democratic reforms, transparent governance, and respect for basic human and civil rights;

(2) strongly condemns the gross and systematic violations of human rights in Libya, including violent attacks on protesters demanding democratic reforms;

(3) calls on Muammar Qadhafi to desist from further violence, recognize the Libyan people's demand for democratic change, resign his position and permit a peaceful transition to democracy governed by respect for human and civil rights and the right of the people to choose their government in free and fair elections;

(4) calls on the Qadhafi regime to immediately release persons that have been arbitrarily detained; to cease the intimidation, harassment and detention of peaceful protestors, human rights defenders and journalists; to ensure civilian safety; and to guarantee access to human rights and humanitarian organizations;

(5) welcomes the unanimous vote of the United Nations Security Council on resolution 1970 referring the situation in Libya to the International Criminal Court; imposing an arms embargo on the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya; freezing the assets of Qadhafi and family members; and banning international travel by Qadhafi, members of his family, and senior advisors;

(6) urges the Qadhafi regime to abide by UN Security Council Resolution 1970 and ensure the safety of foreign nationals and their assets, and to facilitate the departure of those wishing to leave the country as well as the safe passage of humanitarian and medical supplies, humanitarian agencies and workers, into Libya in order to assist the Libyan people;

(7) urges the United Nations Security Council to take such further action as may be necessary to protect civilians in Libya from attack, including the possible imposition of a no-fly zone over Libyan territory;

(8) welcomes the African Union's condemnation of the "disproportionate use of force in Libya" and urges the Union to take action to address the human rights crisis in Libya and to ensure that member states, particularly those bordering Libya, are in full compliance with the arms embargo imposed by United Nations Security Council resolution 1970, including the ban on the provision of armed mercenary personnel;

(9) welcomes the decision of the United Nations Human Rights Council to recommend Libya's suspension from the Council and urges the United Nations General Assembly to vote to suspend Libya's rights of membership in the Council; and

(10) welcomes the attendance of Secretary of State Clinton at the United Nations Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva and 1) urges the Council's assumption of a country mandate for Libya that employs a Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Libya and 2) urges the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations to advocate for improving United Nations Human Rights Council membership criteria at the next United Nations General Assembly in New York City to exclude gross and systematic violators of human rights.

(11) Welcomes the outreach that has begun by the United States government to Libyan opposition figures and supports an orderly, irreversible and transition to a legitimate democratic government in Libya.

By Felicia Sonmez  | March 1, 2011; 7:34 PM ET
 
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Comments

I'm sure that between Obama and the Democrat Senate, Gaddafi is shaking in his boots. Obaba probably expects Gaddafi to ssay "Oh, I'm so scared about the resolutions passed in the US Senate". Resolutions do absolutely nothing.
Obama will do absolutely nothing.

As James Carville once said, "If Hillary gave up one of her balls and gave it to Obama, he’d have two."

Posted by: Dodgers1 | March 1, 2011 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Slow day on Capitol Hill.

Posted by: whocares666 | March 1, 2011 8:51 PM | Report abuse

It would be nice, and the Senators would have gained some needed credibility, if the Senate passed a similar resolution about the brutal and oppressive Israeli occupation of Palestine and the Palestinian people!

Posted by: editor4tonio | March 1, 2011 9:29 PM | Report abuse


The people in our senate that voted for this propaganda are dumber than a box of rocks. They have no business getting involved in any way shape or form in Libya or any other foreign country.

Funny, that bunch of blowhards in congress can't put together a budget for America, but they have time to spend wheezing hot air about things that do not concern us.

Time for federal politicians to take their summer break. They can go back to Washington just after the elections in 2012. America will be better off this way.

Posted by: surfer-joe | March 1, 2011 11:17 PM | Report abuse

USA formally made friends with Libya not long ago. USA administering to the world is what the world hates about us. Every time an int'l event happens misinformation and sides are taken. The pro and con Gadahfi Libyans do not want the int'l community in Libya. They have no trust in us. Stay out of it. Gadahfi will get what he earns or not by the hands of his own irregardless of USA. What is there to gain? Senate sounding demands is like Chavez sounding off and who respects him? We have our own problems and improvements to solve. Time will take care of things.

Posted by: 7423 | March 2, 2011 5:57 AM | Report abuse

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