UN Human Rights Council to put Libya under spotlight
The United Nations Human Rights Council is to convene a special session to discuss the political turmoil in Libya on Friday, as outrage mounts over alleged abuses taking place as part of efforts to suppress the opposition, dpa reported.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has warned that attacks on civilians in Libya "may amount to crimes against humanity" and called for an international investigation.
European nations want a UN-led probe into what they are calling "gross and systematic violations of human rights."
Also, the United States, Japan and Brazil were among the countries backing the session. At least three Arab nations - Jordan, Palestine and Qatar - joined the push for the meeting of the 47-member council.
But African states indicated they may not want to take harsh steps against Libya or its leader, Colonel Moamer Gaddafi.
The special session will be the first time a council member is subjected to such scrutiny by the UN's top human rights body. Libya was controversially elected to the council last year.
"We support expelling Libya from the Human Rights Council," US State Department spokesman PJ Crowley said, citing abuses by the government in Tripoli.
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is due to attend a regular session of the council on Monday, in an effort to coordinate an international response to Libya's unrest.