Calmy-Rey condemns violence in Libya

Swiss President Micheline Calmy-Rey on Monday condemned the use of “excessive force” in Libya and urged the international community to take action.

This content was published on February 28, 2011 - 12:57 and agencies

Calmy-Rey was speaking alongside the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, as she opened the session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Calmy-Rey, who is also the Swiss foreign minister, said crimes against humanity had been, and continued to be, committed by the Libyan government against its people.

“The amount of dead and injured amongst the peaceful protesters resulting from the excessive use of force by the authorities is shocking,” she said. “Switzerland strongly condemns these actions [by the Libyan government].

“The violence must cease immediately. The authors of these crimes must be brought to justice. To that end, Switzerland welcomes the decision taken by the Security Council to refer the matter to the International Criminal Court,” Calmy-Rey said.

Pillay accused a number of governments in the Middle East, including Libya, of “illegal and excessively heavy-handed response” to pro-democracy movements.

The council session is being attended by senior international officials including Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, EU Foreign Minister Catherine Ashton and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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