UN assembly suspends Libya from human rights body

UNITED NATIONS Tue Mar 1, 2011 4:05pm EST

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UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday unanimously suspended Libya's membership in the U.N. Human Rights Council because of violence by Libyan forces against protesters.

The resolution was adopted by consensus in the 192-nation General Assembly on the basis of a recommendation of the Geneva-based Human Rights Council.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the assembly's move to suspend Libya's membership in the council, the rights panel's decision to set up an inquiry to investigate human rights abuses in Libya, as well as the Security Council's referral of Libya to the International Criminal Court.

"These actions send a strong and important message -- a message of great consequence within the region and beyond -- that there is no impunity, that those who commit crimes against humanity will be punished, that fundamental principles of justice and accountability shall prevail," Ban said.

(Reporting by Patrick Worsnip and Louis Charbonneau; editing by Sandra Maler)

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