CONDEMNATION IS NOT ENOUGH!
To Heads of State of Members of the United Nations Security Council, European Union, African Union and League of Arab States,
We, experts, intellectuals and citizens from the Arab world, write to call on you to turn hollow condemnation into real action that can protect the people of Libya from further slaughter.
We cannot and will not stand by and witness a brutal dictator exterminate his own people. Your words alone will not stop Gaddafi committing war crimes against civilians. Your expressions of disgust will not stop him contracting mercenaries to kill and maim those brave enough to challenge his tyranny. We appeal to you as leaders who have the power to bring an end to this horror. Your failure to do so would be a lasting stain on the concept of the responsibility of world leadership and on humanity itself.
The Libyan people are living through a defining moment in their history. Their demands for basic human rights and an end to 42 years of cruel oppression are legitimate. We shall not stand silent and watch them pay the price of this demand with their blood. Without urgent action from the UN Security Council supported by the EU, African Union and Arab League, the window of opportunity to protect civilians from the threat of further atrocities will close.
We believe it is the personal and moral responsibility of each and every one of you to ensure immediate action is taken to stop the bloodshed in line with Chapter 7 of the UN Charter.
The Libyan people have had the courage to defy a dictator and face down his barbarism and brutality. Now their blood fills the streets of Benghazi, Beida and Tripoli and many other cities. This is partly the result of the absence of effective international pressure to rein in a killer who does not balk at using lethal force against his own people.
We urge the UN Security Council, the Arab League, the African Union and the European Union to protect civilians in Libya NOW. We urge leaders to live up to their obligations and expedite the following actions immediately:
• Agree contingency plans for international intervention, under Arab Regional leadership, to provide protection for civilians on the ground and to enable the rapid imposition of a UN Mandated No Fly Zone over Libya should such steps be necessary to protect civilians from further atrocities.
• Ensure accountability and justice for the victims of the attacks since the 17th of Feb 2011 by supporting the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ call for an independent investigation into the use of systematic violence against civilians.
• Ensure an asset freeze on Gaddafi, his family and his generals and impose immediate targeted sanctions on the regime.
• Impose an immediate arms embargo.
Only action of this kind can help protect the lives of hundreds of thousands of civilians currently at risk. Gaddafi and his henchmen will not flinch at your condemnation. Instead, they blackmail you into paralysis by threatening to withhold lucrative trade or open the floodgates of immigration. Time is running out. We urge you to demonstrate courageous and decisive leadership to avert what could be one of the worst atrocities of our time.
1. Gamil Mattar – Writer, Egypt; Taher Kanaan – Former Minister of Planning and Development Affairs, Jordan; Laila Sharaf – First Lady Senator, Jordan; Nabil El Arabi – Former ICJ Judge; Moataz Abdel Fattah – Professor of Political Science University of Michigan, USA; Bassma Kodmani, executive director, Arab Reform Initiative; Chérif Ferjani, Director, Group of Research and Studies on Mediterranean and Middle East (GREMMO) at la Maison de l’Orient Méditerranéen, CNRS-Université Lyon2 (National Center for Scientific Research); Hani Shukrallah, Journalist, Egypt; Barah Mikail, Research Director, FRIDE (Fundacion para las Relaciones Internacionales y el Dialogo Exterior); Larbi Chouikha, Academic, Tunisia; Charif RIFAI, Architect; Yassin Swehat, blogger, Syria; Paul Salem, Director, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Beirut; Salam Kawakibi, Senior researcher, Arab Reform Initiative; Nahla Chahal, political sociologist; IBRAHIM ALARISS, Novelist and Journalist , LEBANON; Alaa Abdel Aziz, Academic, Egypt; Mohamed Ali Farhat - Poet and Journalist, Lebanon; Vicky Habib - journalist and film critic, Lebanon; Abdel Rahman Ayyas (journalist) Lebanon; Ali El Ghatit, International Attorney of Law, Egypt; Ali Fakhro, Former Minister of Culture, Bahrain; Fouad Riad, Former Judge in the International Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia; Saad Mehio – Writer, Lebanon; Ahdaf Soweif – Novelist and Writer , Egypt