Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 32 n° 279

Posts Tagged ‘libyan leader’

Gaddafi to Halt Violence Against Protesters

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 26 febbraio 2011

Brussels. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of Italy should use his longstanding relationship with the Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, to help protect protesters from unlawful attacks by Libyan security forces and militias, Human Rights Watch said today.  Berlusconi had reportedly waited until February 22, 2011, before calling Gaddafi, with whom he has a close relationship, to urge a halt to the violence that had started five days before. On February 19, Berlusconi had said he had not spoken to Gaddafi because he didn’t want to “disturb” him. On February 21 he broke his silence on the situation in Libya, calling the violence “unacceptable.”  The Italian foreign minister, Franco Frattini, said on several occasions that the European Union (EU) should not “interfere” or attempt to “export” democracy to Libya. His rhetoric improved on February 23, when he said, “There is nothing that can justify mass slaughter on the streets.” About 1,000 Libyans have been killed, Frattini said.  Human Rights Watch urged Italy to support an immediate EU embargo on exporting arms and security equipment to Libya. It should also support targeted sanctions, including an asset freeze and travel ban, against senior Libyan officials and military commanders found responsible for grave human rights violations.  Italy and the EU should also support the call by the UN high commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay, for an international investigation into what she characterized as “widespread and systematic attacks against the civilian population [that] may amount to crimes against humanity.” The place and time to open such a UN investigation is at the UN Human Rights Council’s special session in Geneva on February 25 to address the human rights crisis in Libya, Human Rights Watch said.  The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) issued an appeal to the EU, and specifically to Italy, on February 22 to refrain from intercepting and summarily sending back boat migrants seeking to reach European shores from Libya – a practice known as “pushbacks”. There have been unconfirmed reports of mob violence against migrants and asylum seekers in Libya over recent days, giving rise to the possibility that they might board boats to seek safety in Europe. Italy, the colonial occupier of Libya from 1911 to 1943, has extensive business relations with the country. Italy is Libya’s biggest trading partner in the EU. The Italian oil giant ENI is the largest producer of oil and gas in Libya. Libya owns 7.6 percent of UniCredit SpA, Italy’s largest bank.  In 2008, Italy pledged US$5 billion over 20 years in return for lucrative deals for Italian businesses, including ENI. Libya also promised to block illegal immigrants from traveling through Libya to Italy. On February 22, ENI announced that it had suspended supplies through its Greenstream pipeline, which runs from Libya to Sicily, after interruptions on the Libyan side. The pipeline supplies 10 percent of Italy’s natural gas.

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