EU imposes sanctions on Libya

Monday, February 28, 2011

BRUSSELS/GENEVA - European Union member states Monday imposed sanctions on Libya, following the UN Security Council’s call this weekend for punitive measures, the bloc’s presidency said.

On Saturday, the Security Council called unanimously for sanctions to be adopted against the regime of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in response to his recent bloody crackdown on anti-government demonstrators.

“In line with the decision by the Security Council, the council of the EU banned the supply to Libya of arms, ammunition and related materiel … At the same time, the council enacted the UN measures regarding a visa ban,” said Hungary’s minister of development, Tamas Fellegi. Hungary holds the EU’s rotating presidency.

The visa ban and an accompanying asset freeze each cover 26 people “responsible for the violent crackdown on the civilian population”, including Gaddafi and his family, Fellegi said.

The UN had demanded a visa ban, asset freeze and arms embargo. In addition, the EU decided to impose a ban on the sale of non-lethal goods which could be used in the crackdown.

Separately, the EU’s foreign policy chief slammed the Gaddafi regime, demanding that its members be brought to justice.

“We condemn the grave human rights violations committed in Libya. The violence and repression must stop. Those responsible must be held to account,” EU High Representative Catherine Ashton told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Ashton praised the recent pro-democracy protests in the Middle East and said the international community should offer support. But she rejected accusations that the EU is trying to export European values.

“The right to free speech, freedom of assembly, justice and equality are not European rights, they are universal rights,” she said.

Filed under: Diplomacy

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