PLO Executive Ashrawi expresses support for Libyan people 23Feb11 February 25, 2011

Palestine News Network -  23 February 2011

As government crackdowns on protesters in Libya continued on Wednesday, PLO Executive Committee member and legislative council member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi expressed her support for the Libyan people in their demands for freedom, democracy and human dignity.

Dr. Ashrawi said in a press statement, “Throughout the Arab world, ordinary people are confronting outdated and intransigent regimes that refuse to relinquish their grip on power, and demanding democracy, accountability and the rule of law in their place.”

Witnesses in Tripoli have described Libyan forces firing “randomly” at protesters in the capitol and jet fighters have been used during the crackdown as well. Media sources said on Tuesday that two naval gunships had refused the orders of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and departed to Malta. This comes shortly after reports about two fighter jets fleeing Libya and landing in Malta on Monday.

Dr. Ashrawi criticized other Arab regimes in her press statement and said the people demand change.

“For far too long,” she said, “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.”

Regarding the government crackdown on protesters in Libya, Dr. Ashrawi said that she was both alarmed and appalled by the way Libya’s ruler continued to taunt and threaten his own people, promising to wreak havoc, death and destruction in response to ongoing protests. She affirmed that people have the right to demand reform and protest peacefully.

At the end of the press release, Dr. Ashrawi said that Palestinians fully support the Libyan people’s demands for change.

“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.

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