More Libyan ambassadors, envoy opting for defection
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More Libyan ambassadors, envoy opting for defection

‘A crime without any precedent’

Abdurraham Mohamed Shalgam, Libya’s UN ambassador, departing after denouncing Gaddafi for the first time during a Security Council meeting at the UN headquarters yesterday in New York City. Mr Shalgam, a longtime friend and member of Gaddafi’s inner circle, had previously refused to denounce Gaddafi. Photo: Mario Tama/AFP

Abdurraham Mohamed Shalgam, Libya’s UN ambassador, departing after denouncing Gaddafi for the first time during a Security Council meeting at the UN headquarters yesterday in New York City. Mr Shalgam, a longtime friend and member of Gaddafi’s inner circle, had previously refused to denounce Gaddafi. Photo: Mario Tama/AFP

Libya’s ambassador to Lisbon yesterday defected, denouncing Muammar Gaddafi’s regime as “fascist, tyrannical and unjust” and calling on him to quit, according to a statement received by AFP.

Announcing that he was joining the “revolution”, he said he would use all his experience and abilities to support the uprising.

“The cold-blooded slaughter against unarmed youths is causing a large number of deaths and wounded in all parts of our beloved nation,” Ibrahim Emdored said in the statement, whose authenticity was confirmed by the Portuguese foreign ministry.

“What this tyrant regime is doing against its people is a crime without any precedent... Our Arab brothers must give us help and the international community must move faster to stop these massacres and bloodbaths”.Mr Emdored accused the Libyan regime of Col Gaddafi of “campaigns of collective elimination” and carrying out “crimes against mankind” using heavy weaponry and mercenaries.

He said the demonstrators against whom they had been used sought only “the right to free expression” and “lives of dignity.”

The envoy’s announcement was the latest in a string of defections.

Tripoli’s ambassadors to Paris and UNESCO earlier yesterday resigned to condemn “acts of repression in Libya”, they said in a statement read out on public radio, adding they “were joining the revolution.”

“We strongly condemn the acts of repression in Libya. We declare our unity with the people, our support for the people’s revolution,” Paris ambassador Salah Zaren and UNESCO envoy Abdul Salam el Galali said.

“We are joining the revolution. We have resigned from our official posts,” they said in a joint statement read out in front of Libya’s Paris embassy, occupied by protesters on Thursday, and broadcast by France Inter.

Meanwhile a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva witnessed the defection of Tripoli’s envoy, who used the occasion to make a dramatic and emotional public announcement.

The council unanimously called for Libya to be suspended from the body and for a probe into violations by the regime.

“We in the Libyan mission have categorically decided to serve as representatives of the Libyan people and their free will,” the diplomat told the council, speaking in Arabic.

“We only represent the Libyan people, we will serve as their representative in this august body and in other international fora. Thank you,” he added, to applause from the Human Rights Council.

He asked not to be named out of fear of reprisals.

Meanwhile Ahmed Kadhaf al-Dam, a close aide and cousin of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, has resigned from “all his official functions,” Egypt’s official MENA news agency reported yesterday.

Quoting a statement from his office, Mena said Dam – who had a permanent residence in Cairo and oversaw Libya’s relations with Egypt – quit on Thursday “to protest against the handling of the Libyan crisis.”

The statement went on to call for “a halt to the bloodbath (in Libya) and a return to reason in order to preserve the unity and future of Libya,” MENA reported, adding that Dam was last in Libya a week ago.

Late yesterday, Mena reported that Mr Dam had flown back to Cairo aboard a private aircraft after a 24-hour visit to Syria for talks with officials in Damascus.

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