Friday, December 19, 2003

Brace yourself for spin overdrive as Downing Street and the White House trumpet Libya's promise to dismantle its WMD capabilities and attempt to sell the move as proof that the War In Iraq was justified, even though it was Baghdad that was targetted and not Tripoli.

The Prime Minister says Libya's move on WMDs entitles the country to rejoin the international community.

Before we celebrate, let's look at what Human Rights Watch said in January:

"Over the past three decades, Libya’s human rights record has been appalling. It has included the abduction, forced disappearance or assassination of political opponents; torture and mistreatment of detainees; and long-term detention without charge or trial or after grossly unfair trials.

"Today hundreds of people remain arbitrarily detained, some for over a decade, and there are serious concerns about treatment in detention and the fairness of procedures in several on-going high profile trials before the Peoples’ Courts. Libya has been a closed country for United Nations and non-governmental human rights investigators. "

Indeed, Human Rights Watch accused Libya of being a member of an "abusers club" of governments hostile to human rights.

Welcome to the international community, Libya!

(Read more on Libya's human rights record here.)


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