UK to Libyan officials: Defect or face war crimes charges

London's threats come as Libyan diplomats, including those at the UN in New York and Geneva, plea for international action against Gaddafi.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
February 26, 2011 07:56
1 minute read.
Anti-Gaddafi protesters in Libya

Libyan anti-Gaddafi protesters 311 AP. (photo credit: AP)

Senior Libyan officials are receiving a dire warning from Britain: desert Muammar Gaddafi or face trial for crimes against humanity, The Guardian reported on Friday.

The report comes as the United Nations Security Council was set to reconvene Saturday to discuss a draft resolution proposing sanctions against Libya, written by the UK and France, suggesting that war crimes may have been committed by the desperate regime of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

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Already, the Libyan justice minister, interior minister, high-ranking military commanders, senior members in the regime's revolutionary committees and a slew of diplomats including at the United Nations posted abroad have abandoned Gaddafi, adding to the regime's growing isolation.

On Friday, Libyan diplomats at the UN in Geneva and New York spoke emotionally in pleas to the international community to take immediate action against Muammar Gaddafi and to stop the violence his regime has unleashed against Libyan protesters.

Libyan Ambassador to the United Nations Abdurrahman Mohamed Shalgham said he hopes "that within hours, not days," the Security Council will take action against the Libyan government, at a press conference.

Speaking after a Security Council meeting called to discuss the situation in Libya, the ambassador, who said he represents the Libyan people and not the regime of Muammar Gaddafi, called on the UN's most powerful body to "do something tangible, effective, to stop what they are doing, Gaddafi and his sons, against our people, innocent people." He added that sanctions should be imposed against Gaddafi, his family and those who are involved in the killing, not against Libya itself.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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