On Sunday, the National Commission for Human Rights in Libya (NCHRL) accused the government of Prime Minister, Abdel-Hamid Dbaiba of “contributing to an escalation in human rights violations, undermining public freedoms, and eroding the rule of law and justice in the country.”
Released to coincide with International Human Rights Day, the statement asserts that the Dbaiba administration “has contributed to a culture of impunity. It has fostered conditions where new, more oppressive practices and ideologies have taken root.”
The report further criticises the government for its role in “curtailing basic rights and liberties,” emphasising that its policies “have directly led to the strengthening of impunity and the weakening of legal and judicial systems in Libya.” The Institution also highlights the “gross and egregious crimes committed against civilians by armed groups, including murder, abduction, forced disappearance, torture, and forced displacement.”
Underlining the dire human rights situation in Libya, the NCHRL stressed the Libyan people’s ongoing suffering from significant rights violations. It called on the authorities to adhere to human rights standards, consistently and unconditionally.
Moreover, the statement expressed disappointment with the United Nations, which has failed over the past decade to take effective action to protect human rights, and public freedoms, and end the climate of impunity in Libya.
Following the 2011 uprising that overthrew Muammar Gaddafi, Libya has been embroiled in a struggle to establish stable governance and uphold human rights. The country’s landscape has been characterised by continued conflict, a fragmented political scene, and the rise of various armed factions, complicating the human rights situation.
Dbaiba was tasked with guiding Libya towards national elections and bridging divisions between rival factions. However, his government has faced numerous challenges in asserting authority, across a country fragmented by regional militias and political divides.
The NCHRL’s allegations shed light on the persistent challenges Libya faces, especially in building a governance structure that respects and enforces human rights. The widespread presence of armed groups, and the prevailing impunity remain significant barriers to this goal.
Libya’s path to achieving stability and human rights respect is a crucial issue, both locally and globally. Given its strategic importance and oil wealth, Libya’s stability is vital for regional and international security. While the international community, especially the UN, has been actively involved in Libya’s transition process, effective protection of human rights and the establishment of the rule of law remain challenging.