Clinton 311 reuters.
(photo credit: Reuters)
GENEVA - US Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton said on Monday Muammar Gaddafi was using "mercenaries
and thugs" to suppress his own people and said the Libyan leader
must step down immediately.
"Gaddafi and those around him must be held accountable for
these acts, which violate international legal obligations and
common decency," Clinton said in an address to the UN Human
Rights Council in Geneva
, saying nothing was off the table as
the international community considers its next steps.
"It is time for Gaddafi to go, now, without further violence
or delay," she added.RELATED:Libyan rebels fight back military, shoot down aircraft
The US secretary of state commented that "nothing is off the table," as long as the Gaddafi government threatens and kills its civilians.
Speaking on the UNHRC's attitude toward Israel, she said the council must abandon its bias against Israel, which undermines its work.
“The structural bias against Israel, including a standing agenda item [on Israel], is wrong and it undermines the important work that we are trying to do together as member states,” she told the UNHRC at the opening of its 16th session.
“We can take this council in a better and stronger direction,” she added.
Almost since its inception in 2006, the council has been criticized for focusing on Israel to the exclusion of other human rights issues around the globe.
Commenting on Iran, Clinton said that Iranian authorities have targeted
students, professors, bloggers, and activists. She added that she was
proud the US was working with the UN Rights Council together with
Sweden and other members to perform investigations on Iranian abuses.
She added that Iranian human rights activists have pushed for such
action to reign in international pressure on the Iranian government.
Clinton also commented that the popular reforms and revolutions taking place in the Middle East are spreading.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday also commented on events in Libya, calling on the fringes of the
Gaddafi government to desert. Cameron added that he has not yet ruled
out the use of "military assets," and has asked defense chiefs to work
on no-fly zone.