Committee on International Relations
U.S. House of Representatives
Henry J. Hyde, Chairman
CONTACT: Sam Stratman, (202) 226-7875, January 14, 2003

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For IMMEDIATE Release

Hyde Criticizes UN Member Support for Libya’s Chairmanship of Human Rights Panel
Hyde Cites Failure to Account for Pan Am Terrorist Bombing

(WASHINGTON) -- U.S. Rep. Henry J. Hyde (R-IL), chairman of the House International Relations Committee, on Tuesday challenged support among some members of the United Nations for Libya’s nomination to chair the UN Human Rights Commission. A vote on the nomination is expected on Monday, January 20th. Hyde and U.S. Reps. Tom Lantos (D-CA), ranking Democrat on the committee, and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) outlined their objections in a letter addressed to ambassadors representing more than 50 foreign delegations in Washington. Hyde also made the following statement:

It is remarkable that United Nations member states would even consider Libya for chairmanship of its Human Rights Commission, especially in light of the fact that Libya has not accepted responsibility for its role in the terrorist bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 that killed hundreds of innocent people over the skies of Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988.

The conviction of a Libyan intelligence officer by a Scottish court in the Netherlands has clearly established Libya’s links to this cowardly and deadly international act of terrorism. Until Libya accepts responsibility for its actions, pays adequate compensation and meets other requirements of existing UN Security Council resolutions, Libya will have no credibility in representing the world community on the UN on human rights issues, and its nomination must be challenged."