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    UN assembly suspends Libya from human rights body

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    ODN

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    The UN General Assembly has unanimously suspended Libya's membership in the Human Rights Council because of violence against protesters.


    The resolution was adopted by consensus in the 192-nation General Assembly on the basis of a recommendation of the Geneva-based Human Rights Council.


    UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the move, along with the rights panel's decision to set up an inquiry to investigate human rights abuses in Libya, as well as the Security Council's referral of Libya to the International Criminal Court.


    "These actions send a strong and important message -- a message of great consequence within the region and beyond -- that there is no impunity, that those who commit crimes against humanity will be punished, that fundamental principles of justice and accountability shall prevail," Ban said.


    Foreign Secretary William Hague also welcomed the resolution.


    "Suspension from the council puts yet more pressure on the Libyan regime to listen to the clear message of the international community - crimes will not go unpunished and will not be forgotten, there will be a day of reckoning and the reach of international justice is long," he said.


    The Government has signalled that the imposition of a no-fly zone over Libya, to protect the civilian population from Colonel Gaddafi's brutal crackdown, could go ahead without the backing of the United Nations.


    Mr Hague said that while "ideally" such action would be sanctioned by a resolution of the UN Security Council, it was not necessarily essential.