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Posted at 4:46 PM ET, 02/22/2011

Sen. Robert Menendez unveils resolution condemning Gaddafi

By Felicia Sonmez

New Jersey Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez unveiled a Senate resolution Tuesday condemning Moammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader who has rejected demands that he leave power amid a popular uprising in which more than 230 civilians have been killed.

The resolution by Menendez, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who is up for reelection in 2012, condemns the Libyan government's use of violence in response to the uprising.

It also calls for the suspension of arms sales to Libya; urges the United Nations to suspend Libya's membership on its Human Rights Council; and calls on the International Criminal Court to investigate whether crimes against humanity have been committed by Gaddafi against the Libyan people.

The proposed resolution comes as most members of Congress are in their home states this week for the President's Day work period. Even so, Senate and House lawmakers have been weighing in on the developments in Libya.

In a statement earlier Tuesday, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) called Gaddafi "irredeemable" and warned that "his senior military commanders need to know that their acquiescence in atrocities could open them to future international war crimes charges."

Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) said in a joint statement that they were "appalled by what appear to be crimes against humanity occurring in Libya." And House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) also called for the U.S. and other countries to impose sanctions on Libya and urged the U.N. to "finally end the disgrace of Libya's inclusion as a member of the Human Rights Council."

The full text of Menendez's proposed Senate resolution is below.

112th CONGRESS
1st Session

Condemning the brutal crackdown on protesters, calling on the International Criminal Court to investigate crimes against humanity, and calling on the United Nations General Assembly to suspend Libya's membership in the United Nations Human Rights Council.


Mr. MENENDEZ submits the following resolution:
RESOLUTION

Condemning the brutal crackdown on protesters, calling on the International Criminal Court to investigate crimes against humanity, and calling on the United Nations General Assembly to suspend Libya's membership in the United Nations Human Rights Council.


Whereas Libya has instigated violent attacks on protesters demanding democratic reform killing hundreds of people.

Whereas the President Muammar Gadhafi and his son have fired on unarmed protesters using warplanes, helicopters, snipers and soldiers.

Whereas the Gadhafi regime has cut off most forms of communications to the capital, except for State sponsored television.

Whereas Muammar Gadhafi has ruled Libya for more than 40 years and has banned and brutally opposed any individual or group opposing the ideology of his 1969 revolution.

Whereas the Gadhafi regime criminalizes the peaceful exercise of expression and association;

Whereas Gadhafi refuses to permit independent journalists' and lawyers' organizations;

Whereas the Gadhafi regime refuses to investigate cases of enforced disappearances, torture, and extrajudicial executions, including the fate of 1,200 detainees killed in Abu Salim Prison in June 1996;

Whereas Libya took formal responsibility for the terrorist attack that brought Pan Am Flight 103 down over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 270 people, 189 of whom were U.S. citizens;

Whereas the trials administered by Libya's state security court for individuals accused of "offenses against the state," have resulted in the continued detainment of at least 200 individuals who have already served their sentences or been acquitted;

Whereas the Gadhafi regime arbitrarily detains women and girls in "social rehabilitation" facilities indefinitely for suspected transgressions of moral codes without judicial review;

Whereas Libya joined the UN Human Rights Council on May 13, 2010 for a period of three years;

Whereas Libya dismissed the recommendations that resulted from its first Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review on November 9, 2010 in areas guaranteeing freedom of expression and association; addressing impunity for gross violations committed in the past; releasing arbitrarily detained individuals; and adopting a framework to protect refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants;

Whereas Libya's membership in the United Nations Human Rights Council sends 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 human rights;

Whereas the 16th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva is scheduled for February 28 - March 25, 2011: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the United States Senate--

(1) condemns the violent attacks on protesters demanding democratic reforms;

(2) calls on the Gadhafi government to desist from further violence and to recognize the Libyan people's demand for democratic change;

(3) signs and adheres to the tenets of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

(4) calls on all nations to suspend arms sales to Libya until it can guarantee rights under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

(5) calls on the United Nations Security Council to condemn violent attacks on protesters demanding democratic reforms;

(6) calls on the International Criminal Court to investigate crimes against humanity committed by Gadhafi against the Libyan people;

(7) calls on the United Nations General Assembly to suspend Libya's rights of membership in the Human Rights Council.

(8) calls on the United Nations Human Rights Council at its forthcoming meeting to assume a country mandate for Libya that employs a Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Libya.

(9) calls on the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Council to call for a Special Session to address current events in Libya, as well as systemic human rights abuses by the Libyan government under the leadership of Muammar Gadhafi;

(10) calls on the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Council to advocate for ensuring that systemic human rights abusers such as Libya are held responsible for implementing the recommendations made during their Universal Periodic Reviews.

(11) calls on 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 systematic human rights abusers.

By Felicia Sonmez  | February 22, 2011; 4:46 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Comments

Oh thank goodness!!! I will sleep a little better tonight knowing the good Senator is so up on this tragedy. I just hope and pray that the sanctions and resolutions work as well as thay have with IRAN, North Korea and Eastismokecrackistan

Posted by: nosuchluck | February 23, 2011 1:14 PM | Report abuse

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