Statement by Minister Cannon on Situation of Civil Unrest in Libya

(No. 73 - February 21, 2011 - 9:30 a.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement concerning the increasingly volatile and violent situation in Libya:

"Canada strongly condemns the violent crackdowns on innocent protesters that have resulted in many injured and killed. We call on the Libyan security forces to respect the human rights of demonstrators and uphold their commitment to freedom of speech and the right to assembly. The Libyan authorities must show restraint and stop the use of lethal force against protesters.

"The Government of Canada advises against non-essential travel to Libya because of civil unrest and demonstrations and the potential threat of terrorism in the country. Demonstrations are taking place, particularly in the eastern part of the country, including the cities of Benghazi, Derna, Baida and Tobruk.

"Canadians are advised to avoid all gatherings and demonstrations and to stay away from places where they may occur, because they may turn violent without warning. Canadians should monitor local news reports, take appropriate steps to increase their personal security and contact the Canadian embassy in Tripoli for assistance.

"Friends and relatives in Canada seeking information on Canadian citizens believed to be affected by the unrest in Libya should contact the Emergency Operations Centre at Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada by calling, toll-free, 1-800-387-3124, or by sending an email to sos@international.gc.ca.

"Canadian citizens in Libya requiring emergency consular assistance should contact the Canadian embassy in Tripoli at 218 (21) 335-1633, or call Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada’s Emergency Operations Centre collect at 613-996-8885. An email can also be sent to sos@international.gc.ca.

"Officials in Ottawa and at the Canadian embassy in Tripoli continue to monitor the situation in Libya closely."

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Lynn Meahan
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874
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