Human Rights Watch says at least 233 people have been killed in Libya since last Thursday, 17 February 2011 in the the ongoing protest against Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's rule in the country.
The US, UK and French governments are among those condemning the harsh treatment of protesters.
But Italy, the former colonial power in Libya, has close business links to Tripoli and voiced alarm at the prospect of the Gaddafi government collapsing.
"Would you imagine to have an Islamic Arab Emirate at the borders of Europe? This would be a very serious threat," said Foreign Minister Franco Frattini.
The head of the Arab League, Amr Moussa, described the protesters' demands as legitimate, calling it a "decisive moment in history" for Arab nations.