UN rights chief fears reprisals from Libya's regime

18th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

The UN rights chief on Friday expressed fears that Libya's pro-regime forces could carry out reprisals on the opposition, saying that there are no illusions of what the regime is capable of.

"We are extremely worried about reprisals against opposition supporters by pro-government forces and security agents in Libya," said Rupert Colville, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

"No one knows what has been going on in the towns that were first of all held by the opposition and then recaptured by government forces," he said, noting that neither is there information about the situation in detention centres.

"We are very concerned that the government could resort to collective punishment. We have no illusions about what this regime is capable of doing," he added.

The UN Security Council on Thursday voted to allow "all necessary measures" to establish a no-fly zone, protect civilian areas and impose a ceasefire on Kadhafi's military.

Colville welcomed the decision, saying that it showed the world's pledge to protect civilians.

"The Security Council decision to adopt resolution 1972 is an important manifestation of the international community's commitment to the principle known as the 'responsibility to protect' civilians," he said.

© 2011 AFP

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