UN Fact-Finding Mission Calls for Decisive Steps Against Libya’s Human Rights Violations


On Monday, the UN Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Libya said that the Libyan authorities “must take decisive steps to provide justice and redress to the vast number of victims suffering from longstanding violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.”

In a statement following its visit to Libya, the UN mission said that “victims and their families are impatient for authorities to provide timely information on investigations and ensure perpetrators are held accountable.”

“The families of these victims have waited far too long for justice,” said Mohamed Auajjar, Chairman of the mission, which comprises fellow rights experts Tracy Robinson and Chaloka Beyani. “Libyan authorities owe it to them to share information about their loved ones, to meet them, and give them answers. Silence is unacceptable.”

“We, too, have asked repeatedly for answers to the status of multiple investigations concerning serious human rights violations, but to date, there has been no satisfactory response,” Auajjar said.

During the 23-26 January visit to Tripoli, the experts met with victims and representatives. They provided testimonies related to extrajudicial killings, torture, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, human trafficking, internal displacement, the existence of mass graves and morgues containing bodies that families are unable to access.

Many travelled from Benghazi, Sirte, Murzuk, Sebha, and Misrata to meet the mission. The mission was due to Sebha to meet the victims, but was barred by the local authorities despite repeated requests.

The experts regretted that they were unable to meet with the Attorney General to receive information on the many cases narrated by victims, which are under his mandate to investigate.

“The state authorities we met told us of their efforts to strengthen the rule of law, but these efforts have not produced justice for the victims and their families,” Robinson said. “You could see the profound loss when victims spoke to us. Their anxious desire for justice has been unmet, in many cases for years.”

The experts also regretted that authorities failed to grant access to prisons and detention centers across the country, despite repeated requests.

Beyani said that “arbitrary detention in Libya has become pervasive as a tool of political repression and control. This explains why thousands of persons are deprived of their liberty, often in poor conditions, without due process or access to justice.”