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Restrictive measures in view of the situation in Libya

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Restrictive measures in view of the situation in Libya

The European Union (EU) adopts a Decision introducing restrictive measures against Libya and persons guilty of serious human rights violations committed in that country.

ACT

Council Decision 2011/137/CFSP of 28 February 2011 concerning restrictive measures in view of the situation in Libya.

SUMMARY

Due to the serious human rights violations perpetrated in Libya, the Council decided to adopt a number of measures aimed at prohibiting certain types of exchange with Libya.

In particular, the Decision introduces a weapons embargo, a no-fly zone over Libyan airspace, and restrictions on admitting certain persons into European Union (EU) territory, and provides for the freezing of their economic resources.

Weapons embargo

The embargo covers all equipment and material which might be used for internal repression in Libya. It relates specifically to weapons, ammunition, military and paramilitary equipment, and spare parts for such equipment.

Member States are thus prohibited from supplying, selling or transferring such equipment to Libya, whether from or through their territory or by using their flag vessels or aircraft. Similarly, they may not procure arms from Libya.

In addition, Member States are prohibited from providing Libya with technical or financial assistance related to military activities or the supply of arms. This ban covers, for example, training and assistance, and the provision of armed mercenary personnel.

These prohibitions shall, however, be lifted if arms or assistance provided by Member States are solely intended for humanitarian or protective use.

No-fly zone over Libyan airspace

Member States are recommended to take all necessary measures to enforce the no-fly zone over Libyan airspace by aircraft under their jurisdiction. The objective is the protection of civilians.

The no-fly zone does not, however, apply to flights the sole objective of which is humanitarian. For example, aircraft transporting medicines, food or personnel on humanitarian missions are authorised to fly over or to land in Libya.

Furthermore, Member States must prohibit the take-off, overflight and landing in their territory (except in emergencies) of:

  • aircraft registered in Libya or belonging to a Libyan person or company;
  • aircraft suspected of having on board items that have been prohibited by this Decision.

Restriction on the admission of natural persons

Member States are to take the necessary measures to prevent the entry into or transit through their territories of:

  • the persons listed in Annex I to the Decision;
  • any other person involved in serious human rights violations in Libya.

Furthermore, the Decision provides for exceptional cases in which such persons may be authorised to enter the territory of the Member States.

Member States are not obliged to refuse access to their territories by their own nationals.

Freezing of economic resources

The Decision introduces the freezing of funds, financial assets and all other economic resources belonging to:

  • the persons listed in Annexes II and III to the Decision;
  • any other person involved in serious human rights violations in Libya.

However, the Decision provides for exceptional cases in which the freezing of economic resources may be lifted.

Annexes to the Decision

The Annexes to the Decision list persons and entities having taken part in serious human rights violations in Libya. These persons and entities are thus the subject of sanctions such as the prohibition from entering the territories of Member States or the freezing of their economic resources.

In addition, the Annexes may be subject to amendment according to developments in the situation in Libya.

Context

In the light of the serious events taking place in Libya, and in particular the use of force against civilians, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1970 (2011) on 26 February 2011. The Resolution introduces restrictive measures against Libya and persons guilty of human rights violations against the Libyan population.

In view of the seriousness of the situation, the EU considered it necessary to adopt this Decision in order to introduce further restrictive measures. The Council of the EU also adopted Regulation (EU) 204/2011 to ensure that the Decision was implemented, in particular to guarantee its uniform application by economic operators in the Member States.

Reference

Act

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Council Decision 2011/137/CFSP

28.2.2011

-

OJ L 58, 3.3.2011

Amending Act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Council Decision 2011/178/CFSP

23.3.2011

-

OJ L 78, 24.3.2011

Successive amendments and corrections to Decision 2011/137/CFSP have been incorporated into the basic text. This consolidated version is only of documentary value.

Last updated: 23.08.2011

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