Summary: 20 February 2011, Brussels - Declaration by the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, on behalf of the European Union on events in Libya
"The European Union is extremely concerned by the events unfolding in Libya and the reported deaths of a very high number of demonstrators. We condemn the repression against peaceful demonstrators and deplore the violence and the death of civilians. We express our sympathy to the families and friends of the victims.
The EU urges the authorities to exercise restraint and calm and to immediately refrain from further use of violence against peaceful demonstrators. Freedom of expression and the right to assemble, as provided for in particular by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, are human rights and fundamental freedoms of every human being which must be respected and protected. The EU calls on the authorities to immediately cease the blocking of public access to the internet and mobile phone networks. The EU also calls upon the authorities to allow media to work freely throughout the country.
The legitimate aspirations and demands of the people for reform must be addressed through open and meaningful Libyan-led dialogue.
The European Union expects full cooperation by the authorities in protecting EU citizens."