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Lies on Libya

S Dubois | 28.08.2011 10:02 | Anti-militarism | Anti-racism | Birmingham | World

Are we living in an Orwellian world in regard to Libya. Below is an extract from a UN human rights report on Libya that was published on January 2011. If Gaddafi was a brutal dictator, you'd have though they would have noticed it.

We are living in an Orwellian world where up is down. There is no evidence that Gaddafi’s rule was characterized by oppression and threat against most Libyans. Yet people on the Left and Right support NATO because they claim Gaddafi is a dictator. Indeed, the impression they want us to have is that Gaddafi was markedly worse than others in the region and elsewhere as dictators go.

We also have on the BBC and the media people who we are supposed to regard as Libya hysterically hailing the end of Gaddafi because he was a brutal dictator, he took away people’s freedom, he didn’t allow people to speak. They also give the impression that he made people’s lives hell.

Are they simply liars?

The answer is yes.

Because if any of that were true, would you not have expected the UN to have noticed when they made examinations of Libya?

The UN put Libya number 54 on its Human Development Index and its human rights council reported on Libya in January 2011. Right before the protests began. If Gaddafi was such a tyrant, you would expect the UN to have noticed. In terms of the Index, Libya was in the High Human Development category. What other countries ruled by brutal dictators are in that category?
The Human Development Index (HDI) is a comparative measure of life expectancy, literacy, education and standards of living for countries worldwide. It is a standard means of measuring well-being, especially child welfare. It is used to distinguish whether the country is a developed, a developing or an under-developed country, and also to measure the impact of economic policies on quality of life. The index was developed in 1990 by Pakistani economist Mahbub ul Haq[2] and Indian economist Amartya Sen.[3]
United Nations A/HRC/16/15
General Assembly Distr.: General
4 January 2011
Original: English

Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review*
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
1. The Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, established in accordance with Human Rights Council resolution 5/1, held its ninth session from 1 to 12 November 2010. The review of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya was held at the 13 meeting, on 9 November 2010. The delegation of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya was headed by the Vice-Minister for European Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abdulati I. Alobidi. At its 17th meeting, held on 12 November 2010, the Working Group adopted the report on the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.

2. On 21 June 2010, the Human Rights Council selected the following group of rapporteurs (troika) to facilitate the review of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya: Argentina, Norway and Senegal.

5. During the interactive dialogue, statements were made by 46 delegations. A number of delegations commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for the preparation and presentation of its national report, noting the broad consultation process with stakeholders in the preparation phase. SEVERAL DELEGATIONS ALSO NOTED WITH APPRECIATION THE COUNTRY’S COMMITMENT TO UPHOLDING HUMAN RIGHTS ON THE GROUND. Additional statements, which could not be delivered during the interactive dialogue owing to time constraints, will be posted on the extranet of the universal periodic review when available. Recommendations made during the dialogue are found in section II of the present report.

10. The delegation noted that all rights and freedoms were contained in a coherent, consolidated legal framework. The legal guarantees formed the basis for protection of the basic rights of the people. Further, abuses that might occur were dealt with by the judiciary, and the perpetrators were brought before justice. The judiciary safeguarded the rights of individuals and was assisted by other entities, most importantly the Office of the Public Prosecutor. A National Human Rights Commission, with a mandate based on the Paris Principles, had also been established, in 2007. The aforementioned entities were complemented by newly established mechanisms, such as civil society organizations established under Law No. 19 of 2001

11. Protection of human rights was guaranteed in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya; this included not only political rights, but also economic, social and cultural rights. The Libyan Arab Jamahiriya referred to its pioneering experience in the field of wealth distribution and labour rights.

12. The delegation indicated that women were highly regarded in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, and their rights were guaranteed by all laws and legislation. Discriminatory laws had been revoked. Libyan women occupied prominent positions in the public sector, the judicial system, the public prosecutor’s office, the police and the military. Libyan legislation also guaranteed children their rights, and provided for special care for children with special needs, the elderly and persons with disabilities.

21. With regard to the extent of consultation with civil society in the preparation of the national report, as indicated earlier, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya noted that a Committee had been established to include all human rights authorities in addressing this matter.

S Dubois
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