Dr. Ashrawi on the Deteriorating Situation in Libya
By Dr. Hanan Ashrawi
February 23, 2011

PLO Executive Committee member and member of the PLC, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi today expressed her support for the Libyan people in their demands for freedom, democracy and human dignity, saying: “Throughout the Arab world, ordinary people are confronting outdated and intransigent regimes that refuse to relinquish their grip on power, and demanding democracy, accountability and the rule of law in their place.”

“For far too long, such regimes have stood as a barrier to democracy in the Middle East. They have quelled the rights and freedoms of their own people, and exacerbated the myriad political, economic and social problems facing their people. This is as true in Libya as it was in Tunisia and Egypt.”

Dr. Ashrawi said that she was both alarmed and appalled by the way Libya’s ruler, Muammar Gaddafi, continued to taunt and threaten his own people, promising to wreak havoc, death and destruction in response to ongoing protests.

“In both word and deed, Gaddafi continues to show utter disregard for the welfare, rights and safety of his own people. He is threatening a civil war that will undoubtedly drag the country further into chaos and lead to more bloodshed. Libyans are well within their rights to demand reform and to protest peacefully. I call in the strongest possible terms on the Libyan government to cease all aggression against its own civilians.”

“Engaged in our own struggle for freedom and independence against Israel’s occupation and the daily violation of our rights, the Palestinian people stand firm in their support for our Libyan brothers and sisters in their quest for freedom, democracy and an end to tyranny,” Dr Ashrawi concluded.