NCHRL Monitors Abuses by Libyan Security Services

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The National Commission for Human Rights in Libya (NCHRL) reported that it has monitored abuses in police stations and security services affiliated with the Ministry of Interior. The NCHRL explained that it received several grievances and complaints from citizens that investigation units are closed during weekends and holidays. This gives perpetrators an opportunity to escape punishment, the commission said.

It asked Minister of Interior, Khaled Mazen to issue instructions to police stations and national security directorates not to close investigation units, in order to “guarantee the citizens’ right to litigation and access to justice and end impunity for perpetrators.” The commission explained that its address to Mazen comes within its humanitarian, human rights, and legal work.

Last month, it reported that after ten years of political change in Libya, the country is still witnessing numerous grave human rights violations. “Kidnapping and enforced disappearances based on social identity and political affiliation are among the most prominent forms of these violations,” its statement read.

The commission has expressed concern over the spread of enforced disappearances. It urged all parties to the conflict not to use enforced disappearance as a tool of war, and that the kidnapping of civilians constitutes hostage-taking, which remains a war crime and a crime against humanity.

Of particular concern in Libya is the continuous harassment of human rights defenders, relatives of victims, witnesses, and lawyers dealing with cases of enforced disappearances. Generally, the perpetrators of enforced disappearances continue to enjoy widespread impunity.

The NCHRL called on all armed groups across the country to immediately release all detainees without any restrictions or exceptions. The commission also called on the Libyan authorities to take all necessary measures to put an end to the kidnapping and reminded them that, according to Libyan and international law, “every person deprived of his freedom must be in an officially recognised place of detention and be brought before the courts without delay.” It affirmed its commitment to documenting cases of enforced disappearance in Libya and its willingness to prosecute the perpetrators of such crimes.