Libya protests men climbing 311.
(photo credit: AP)
Feeling that his country has been “abandoned,” expatriate Libyan Mohamed Eljahmi
sleeps these days with the news on, as he watches, from his Massachusetts home,
the rising numbers of dead Libyan activists.
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“Right now we are seeing
massacres and atrocities against the Libyan people,” said Eljahmi, a co-founder
of the American Libyan Freedom Alliance.
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“Where is the international
community that spoke loudly and clearly when it came to Gaza? Where is Turkey,
the new leader of the Islamic world that sent a ship to Gaza?” he asked
On Monday, he was among a number of activists who endorsed a
call by 70 rights groups, which urged the United Nations and the world powers to
condemn the Libyan government’s “crimes against humanity” and to call an
emergency meeting of the UN Security Council and Human Rights
They also demanded that Libya be stripped of its membership on
the Human Rights Council.
“As you know, in the past several days, Colonel
Moammar Gadhafi’s forces are estimated to have deliberately killed hundreds of
peaceful protesters and innocent bystanders across the country. In the
city of Benghazi alone, one doctor reported seeing at least 200 dead
bodies. Witnesses report that a mixture of special commandos, foreign
mercenaries and regime loyalists have attacked demonstrators with knives,
assault rifles and heavy-caliber weapons,” the groups said in a letter they sent
to the United States, the European Union and the UN.
On Monday, UN
Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon called Gaddafi to talk about the violence in his
According to a statement issued by the UN, “the secretary-
general expressed deep concern at the escalating scale of violence and
emphasized that it must stop immediately. He reiterated his call for
respect for basic freedoms and human rights, including peaceful assembly and
In addition, the statement said, Ban “urged all parties to
exercise restraint and called upon the authorities to engage in broad-based
dialogue to address legitimate concerns of the population.”
executive director of UN Watch, which organized the 70 rights groups, said that
“the muted response of the US and the EU to the Libyan atrocities is not only a
let-down to the many Libyans risking their lives for freedom, but a shirking of
their obligations, as members of the Security Council and the Human Rights
Council, to protect peace and human rights and to prevent war
Eljahmi said he, too, felt let down by the mild UN statement,
which he said needed to be stronger. But, he added, what is most important is
that the international community act to safeguard the innocent people who are
Eljahmi, a software engineer, left Libya in 1977. His
brother, Fathi Eljahmi, a human rights activist in Libya, was imprisoned for
five years and tortured to death.
The events of the last several days has
brought Eljahmi back to those years of anxiety when his brother was in
The world has to “break its silence” and remove Gaddafi from
office, he declared.