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"A powerful reminder of why the international community is acting to protect the Libyan people"

Alistair Burt, FCO Minister for Middle East and North Africa spoke to people in the Libya Western Mountains about what they have seen, heard and experienced in the third Eyewitness Libya event.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

These ordinary Libyans shared their firsthand accounts of human rights violations and deliberate targeting of Zintan and Nalut by Qadhafi’s forces. Also represented were representatives from human rights organisations including: Amnesty International and Lawyers for Justice in Libya. Many of those speaking still have relatives in Libya: they gave their accounts in confidence, so that others could speak out on their behalf.

This was the third eyewitness event, following those that took place during May, which looked at accounts from people from Misrata and Tripoli.

Following the meeting on Monday 20 June Mr Burt said:

Speaking to ordinary Libyans living through these extraordinary times is always a powerful reminder of why the international community is acting to protect the Libyan people from the Qadhafi regime.

I have heard today about the situation in the Western mountains, which is the main route of escape for refugees hoping to reach Tunisia. What is clear is the pressing need for Qadhafi to allow fuller access for aid agencies and to stop attacking the civilian population.

His forces continue to try to crush the people’s legitimate desire for freedom. We will remain steadfast in our commitment to stop him and to protect and support ordinary Libyans”.

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Published 21 June 2011