EU worried by abuses by both sides in Libya

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said she was "very concerned" by the reports.

EU worried by abuses by both sides in Libya

The European Union is concerned about reports of extra-judicial killings and arbitrary detentions by both sides in the Libyan war and especially by the victimization of sub-Saharan Africans, a statement said on Wednesday.

In a report on Tuesday, rights group Amnesty International said forces on both sides in the war had committed war crimes and Libya risked descending into a bloody cycle of attacks and reprisals unless order could be established.

Amnesty called Muammar Gaddafi's attacks on civilian protesters a crime against humanity and accused opposition forces of exploiting the vacuum caused by his fall from power to carry out revenge killings and torture.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said she was "very concerned" by the reports.

"Such practices must stop immediately," she said in a statement.

"The situation of non-combatant sub-Saharan populations and black Libyans is especially worrying," she said.

"Stigmatized as being pro-Gaddafi mercenaries because of the color of their skin, these groups are particularly vulnerable and must be adequately protected. More generally, all combatants who have been detained must be treated in accordance with international law and human rights standards."

Ashton said she welcomed statements by Mustafa Abdel Jalil, head of Libya's ruling National Transitional Council, on the need to respect international human rights law and standards.

"These commitments are very important and should lead to concrete action on the ground to prevent abuse. Those responsible for previous human rights violations should be brought to justice," Ashton said.

The European Union gave political backing to the NTC in the conflict.

Reuters

Last Mod: 15 Eylül 2011, 13:11
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