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Last updated: 2003-01-27

The Board of Deputies deplores Libya’s election to the chairmanship of the United Nations Human Rights Commission. Libya is guilty of massive human rights violations and state sponsored terrorism. The Board is astonished that the British government abstained in the vote, rather than oppose Libya’s chairmanship.

In a letter to Parliamentary Secretary Mike O’Brien of the Foreign Office, the Board highlighted the human rights abuses by the public authorities in Libya, including the assassination of political opponents, the torture and mistreatment of detainees and long-term detention without charge or trial. Colonel Gadaffi’s regime has also provided training, weapons and funding for many terrorist organisations, including Palestinian groups and the IRA.

In his letter, Neville Nagler commented: “We find it astonishing that the British government failed to oppose the election of Libya as Chair of the Commission. At a time when human rights violations are rife throughout the world, the British government should be doing everything it can to ensure the safety of its fellow human beings. Libya is surely the last country in the world which is fit to judge the human rights of others.”