The United Nations Human Rights Council, the global defender of human rights, has come upon some shocking news. After a thorough investigation, this esteemed body has concluded that the regime of Muammar Gaddafi is guilty of human rights abuses.
Excuse me? While I support their effort to protect the innocent from abuse, where have they been for the last forty plus years? I mean, it’s not like Gaddafi suddenly changed from a democratically elected leader to a despot. He took power in a military coup and has been one of the worst abusers of human rights ever since.
Not only did the Human Rights Council never look into his reign of terror, Libya was elected just last year as a member of the Council. So Mr. Gaddafi’s representative has been sitting on the council, expressing his opinion on the human rights record of other nations, while the government he represented used every tool at its disposal — murder, kidnapping, torture — to subdue the Libyan people into submission.
While many in the media fail to recognize their own culpability in ignoring Gaddafi’s lunacy, Aurel Braun spells out the hypocrisy:
It was, however, the Human Rights Council that really burnished Libya’s international image in an Orwellian theatre of the absurd. For instance, at a council meeting in November 2010 for a universal periodic review of rights protection, country after country paid tribute to the Qaddafi regime’s performance on human rights.
Qatar expressed its appreciation for Libya’s human rights performance. The Syrian representative, without irony, spoke of the unique experience of democracy in Libya and the growth and development of human rights there. Saudi Arabia strongly praised Libya’s interest in “promoting and protecting human rights.” North Korea and Cuba glowingly endorsed Libya’s efforts and “significant achievements” in human rights.
Little wonder that with such fulsome praise and endorsements from the world’s leading human rights body, the Gaddafi regime rejected even moderate “suggestions” at improving its human rights record.
I guess that the Human Rights Council didn’t have enough time to think about whether Libya was abusing human rights. After all, the HRC has a standing agenda item to condemn Israel whenever it meets.
It calls into question the HRC’s other investigations — such as the the Council’s own Goldstone report.