UNSMIL: Lawyers in Libya in Danger

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The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) expressed its concern over the ongoing harassment, restrictions, and violence targeting lawyers in Libya.

In a tweet, UNSMIL added that such violence included the “brutal 18th of July beating of Lawyer, Abdullah Ali Farahat in the Tripoli Court by Deterrence Apparatus for Combating Organized Crime and Terrorism’ (DACOT) guards.”

The United Nations (UN) mission noted that, “in the past six months, three other lawyers have been assaulted, and arbitrarily arrested and detained.”

It confirmed that lawyers have an essential role in the pursuit of justice and under Libyan law must be protected from arrest, detention, and other legal procedures while performing their official duties.

UNSMIL called for a full, independent investigation into all attacks against members of the legal profession carrying out their official duties and for all perpetrators of violence to be held accountable.

On Friday, the UN Secretary General’s Adviser to Libya expressed her outrage regarding the violence that erupted in Tripoli on Friday, as civilians, including guests at a wedding celebration, were killed during the clashes.

She said that the indiscriminate use of weapons in a heavily populated, urban area without safeguarding civilians is a grave violation of international humanitarian law and a sanctionable offense.

“This fighting must stop! Civilians must be protected and perpetrators held accountable,” she added.

The clashes were renewed in the Libyan capital today between the most prominent militias in Tripoli. They used medium and heavy weapons during the clashes. As a result, the Mitiga International Airport was closed for fear of shells and missiles falling inside it.

According to the Spokesperson for the Ambulance and Emergency Services, Osama Ali, the death toll has raised to 16 people, including 6 civilians and over 30 were injured during the clashes.

The United States (US) Ambassador to Libya, Richard Norland, called for the warring parties to exercise restraint and preserve stability for the protection of civilians.