United Nations: The United Nations General Assembly has unanimously voted to suspend Libya from the UN Human Rights Council in the wake of continuing attacks on pro-democracy protesters there by Muammar Gaddafi's regime.

According to a statement released by the UN, the General Assembly has decided to suspend the rights of membership in the Human Rights Council of the African nation.

US ambassador to the UN Susan Rice pointed that this was for the first time a country was suspended by the General Assembly. "This is a harsh rebuke, but one that Libya's leaders have brought down upon themselves."

"When the only way a leader can cling to power is by grossly and systematically violating his own people’s human rights, he has lost all legitimacy to rule," she said.

Last week, UN Human Rights Council in Geneva decided to suspend Libya's membership from the 47-nation body. However, this decision was needed to be approved by two-thirds of the 192-member General Assembly.

While it did not vote against the resolution, Venezuela was the only country to express reservations about the suspension.

"A decision such as this one could only take place after a genuine investigation," Jorge Valero Briceno, Venezuelan envoy for the UN, told the General Assembly.

On Saturday, the Security Council unanimously passed a resolution ordering an arms embargo, a travel ban and assets freeze against Gaddafi and his supporters. The 15-member body also referred the recent events in Libya to the International Criminal Court.

The United States and European Union have also approved sanctions against Gaddafi. In his speech, Briceno accused the US of having ‘imperialistic’ designs in Libya.

(Agencies)