* Russia says NATO killed journalists, children
* U.S. praises NATO cooperation with UN
By Emma Farge
GENEVA, March 9 Russia criticised U.N.
investigators on Friday for failing to adequately probe deaths
caused by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) bombs during
the uprising against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi last year.
Independent investigators for the U.N. Human Rights Council
last week issued a report saying NATO had caused civilian
deaths, but added the organisation had taken "extensive
precautions to ensure civilians were not killed".
Maria Khodynskaya-Golenishcheva, a diplomat at the Russian
mission to the U.N. in Geneva, said that the report omitted
civilian deaths caused by NATO air strikes in July and August
last year, including children and Libyan journalists.
"The report should have given an adequate assessment of
these acts [NATO bombs] and the members of the commission should
have been more insistent on demanding information from NATO,"
she said in a meeting on the report's findings.
"In our view, during that (NATO) campaign many violations of
the standard of international law and human rights were
committed, including the most important right, the right to
life," she added.
Russia had criticised the U.N. Security Council-authorised
military intervention in Libya which it says should have been
limited to protecting civilians and not to helping protestors
More recently, Moscow has shown support for long-time ally
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose forces have cracked down
on an uprising inspired by Arab Spring protests in Libya and
across the Arab world.
The 200-page U.N. report, which investigatesd violations of
international human rights law, refers to a "credible report"
that Libyan forces had removed children's bodies from a hospital
morgue and took them to the site of a NATO airstrike.
The head of the U.N. commission of inquiry on Libya,
Canadian jurist Philippe Kirsch, said NATO did not provide his
team with all of the information they requested.
"We know NATO had an enquiry and we asked to be informed of
the results and we asked to meet with officials and could not.
We asked to be given imagery of attacks and did not receive
this," he said in a press conference on Friday.
But the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Human Rights Council,
Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe, praised NATO for disclosing
information to the U.N. commission.
"We commend NATO for fully cooperating with the commission
and for providing a significant amount of information much of
which had to be declassified to assist them in their work," she
The U.N. inquiry found that both sides in the Libyan
conflict committed war crimes and also alleged that forces loyal
to Gaddafi committed crimes against humanity.
It also recommended that the Libyan government further
investigate the causes of the death of Gaddafi and human rights
violations committed by the former opposition.
The U.N. commission could not make conclusions on the cause
of the leader's death in October partly because it was denied
access to the autopsy report, it said.
(Reporting by Emma Farge; Editing by Andrew Heavens)