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Outrage as Libya tells United Nations: 'Gays threaten the future of the human race'

in LIBYAN ARAB JAMAHIRIYA, 16/02/2012

"Gays threaten the continuation of the human race", Libya's delegate told a planning meeting of the UN Human Rights Council. It was the first appearance in the 47-nation body by the post-Gaddafi government, whose membership was restored in November following Libya's suspension in March.

A Libyan delegate sparked outrage after telling a United Nations human rights panel that gay people threaten the future of the human race.

The unnamed official made the remarks as violence based on sexual orientation was being discussed.
His outburst came despite the new Libyan leaders promising to respect human rights following the downfall of Colonel Gaddafi.

Libya were only recently restored to the 47-nations UN Human Rights Council.
The delegate said that the topics being discussed 'affect religion and the continuation and reproduction of the human race', the non-governmental organisation UN Watch reported.

He also claimed that Libya would have opposed a resolution that denounced violence on the grounds of sexual orientation last June, if they had not been suspended.
The homophobic remarks sparked an angry backlash and an immediate rebuke from the UN Human Rights council president Laura Dupuy Lasserre.
She said: 'The Human Rights Council is here to defend human rights and prevent discrimination.'

Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch who led a campaign to have Gaddafi's Libya thrown off the council said following the remarks: 'This is not the Arab Spring we hoped for.'

Mr Neuer added: 'The homophobic outburst by the new Libyan government, together with its routine abuse of prisoners and other ongoing violations, underscores the serious questions many have about the new regime's commitment to improving on the dark record of its predecessor.'

Libya were thrown off the Human Rights Council in March last year but allowed back on in November after the death of Gaddafi.
While the dictator was in power, gays were routinely flogged and imprisoned, human rights experts have claimed.

The Human Rights Council is separate from the UN General Assembly - and with 47 members it is a lot smaller.
As they were re-instated, Ibrahim Dabbashi, deputy UN envoy, said: 'the new Libya deserves to return to the Human Rights Council to contribute with other members to the promotion of values of human rights.'

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