Sweden aligns itself with the statement made by Hungary on behalf of the European Union.
Sweden condemns in the strongest terms the events that have occurred in Libya in recent days. Although the regime has curtailed media access significantly, we have been able to see indiscriminate attacks with heavy armoury, reportedly also air strikes, on civilians exercising their right to peaceful assembly and expression. These actions stand beyond comparison. Sweden strongly calls on the regime in Libya to immediately stop all violence.
We salute the courage of the people of Libya and extend our support to the peaceful resolution of the current crisis. It is evident that the current leadership has no public support and therefore a process should be initiated for a national dialogue leading to a Government which has been chosen by the people of Libya in free and fair elections.
The people of Libya have suffered violations of their human rights for a long time. The current crisis bears evidence, yet again, that political stability cannot be based on oppression and denial of human rights. Peoples’ urge for freedom will eventually be too strong for any system to contain and suppress. As we look around, this has become very clear in the past few weeks. The universality of human rights can no longer be questioned.
We condemn the extensive closure of fundamental means for communication, such as the Internet, which constitutes a violation of freedom of expression and information. Further, the freedom of the press is of fundamental importance in order to convey information swiftly. Sweden strongly calls on the regime in Libya to open channels for communication and to allow access and safe working conditions of journalists in the country.
In terms of institutional reaction, we welcome the strong response from the international community, in particular the Security Council, but also condemnations from regional organisations in the Arab world and from the EU. But, in defence of universal human dignity and rights, the responsibility falls heavily on the Human Rights Council – as the world’s prime human rights body – to take swift and decisive action. Therefore, we are pleased to see the very strong support among states for this special session today.
The special session today is important. If the Council cannot act strongly and swiftly on an issue such as this, its credibility will suffer. In line with this, Sweden would like to recall that members elected to the Council shall uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights. We therefore support that this Council recommends the United Nations General Assembly to consider the application of the measures foreseen in OP8 of General Assembly Resolution 60/251.
Sweden strongly supports the establishment of an international and independent commission of inquiry to investigate the events that have taken place recently. The purpose of this investigation must be to hold the responsible persons accountable and to deliver justice for the victims.
My Government will do everything it can to make the Council’s response to these dreadful violations as strong as possible. We owe this to the people of Libya.