US wants Libya ousted from UN rights council

US wants Libya ousted from UN rights council

Libya should be kicked off the UN Human Rights Council for the abuses that have taken place in the country following the widespread uprising against leader Moamer Gaddafi, the US State Department said Thursday.

"We support expelling Libya from the Human Rights Council," State Department spokesman PJ Crowley said. "The Libyan government has violated the rights of its people. Taking this step continues the increased isolation that the Libyan government is facing.", dpa reported.

The Geneva-based council is scheduled to meet on Friday, and US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is due to attend a session on Monday. Clinton will attend the meeting to engage in "consultations that are needed so that we can have effective action going forward," Crowley said.

Libya's election to the 47-nation Human Rights Council last year was controversial because of the country's record on the issue.

US President Barack Obama had telephone conversations Thursday with British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy to discuss possible reactions, the White House said.

In addition to coordinating a unified international response, the United States is also considering unilateral steps to punish Libya for the violent crackdown against demonstrators believed to have left hundreds of people dead.

Crowley said the State Department is examining past cases of applying sanctions against governments responsible for violating human rights.

"We are looking at actions that we might do here unilaterally, as well as consulting broadly," Crowley said, adding "a full range of options" were being prepared.

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