Statement by Emma Bonino, Vice President of the Italian Senate

In response to the latest tragic developments in Libia, Emma Bonino, the Vice President of the Italian Senato, has issued a statement declaring that the United Nations Security Council, currently meeting in New York, "should recognise that the massive and systematic attack against civilians in Libyaconstitutes a threat to international peace and security. Therefore, under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, the UN Security Council must immediately take all necessary action to protect the population, starting with the enforcement of a 'no-fly zone' to stop aerial raids against civilians. Indiscriminate attacks against the civilian population, and the very high number of victims, may constitute crimes against humanity, as already stated by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. An independent international investigation needs to be instituted as soon as possible so that Gaddafi and other members of his regime are held accountable for their actions. Neighbouring countries from both sides of the Mediterranean" -continued the Radical Party leader- "should cooperate to take any measures necessary to end the violent repression against the civilian population. In this context, it is inconceivable that the Treaty of Friendship between Lybia and Italy of 2008 can still be considered in force. I believe Italy has a duty to suspend immediately and unilaterally the application of the Treaty, whose non-interference clauses would prevent Italy from coming to the aid of civilians in Libya. It would also prevent Italy from contributing effectively to other concrete actions to start a transition process towards the rule of law and democracy in Lybia agreed at the European and International level. Even more so", -concluded Emma Bonino- "if Gaddafi intends to carry out his threat to fight "to the last man, to the last woman, to the last bullet", as announced by his son and to apply a strategy of ceding temporarily Cyrenaica in order to advance from Tripoli city by city."