The council demanded a Libya take 'steps to address the legitimate demands of the population' [Reuters]

The UN Security Council has unanimously imposed travel bans and asset freezes on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, members of his family and inner circle.

Saturday's resolution adopted by the 15-nation council also called for the immediate referral of the deadly crackdown against anti-government demonstrators in Libya to the International Criminal Court in The Hague for investigation and possible prosecution of anyone responsible for killing civilians.

The council demanded an "immediate end to the violence and for steps to address the legitimate demands of the population" in Libya.

It called for Libyan authorities to act "with restraint, respect human rights and international humanitarian law," and facilitate immediate access for international human rights monitors.

The council called for an immediate lifting of restrictions "on all forms of media" and for the safety of foreign nationals to be assured and their departure facilitated.

Under the arms embargo, UN members will take immediate and necessary measures to "prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to Libya ... of arms and related material of all types, including weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment".

Libya would be prohibited from importing all arms and related material and all UN members should prevent their nationals from exporting them.

The travel ban and assets will target the 68-year-old Libyan leader, his adult children, other family members and top defence and intelligence officials accused of playing a role in the bloodshed.

'Moral support'

Sixteen names are on the sanctions list.

The council said its actions were aimed at "deploring the gross and systematic violation of human rights, including the repression of peaceful demonstrators".

And members expressed concern about civilian deaths, "rejecting unequivocally the incitement to hostility and violence against the civilian population made from the highest level of the Libyan government".

The day was consumed mainly with haggling behind closed doors over language that would refer Libya's violent crackdown on protesters to the International Criminal Court, or ICC, at the Hague.

All 15 nations on the council ultimately approved referring the case to the permanent war crimes tribunal.

Council members did not consider imposing a no-fly zone over Libya, and no UN-sanctioned military action was planned.

The Libyan deputy UN envoy described the adoption of sanctions as "moral support" to those resisting Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Ibrahim Dabbashi, one of the first Libyan diplomats to denounce Gaddafi and defect, said the council's move "will help put an end to this fascist regime which is still in existence in Tripoli".

Source: Agencies