On Monday, the Libyan independent fact-finding committee held a meeting with the UN Human Rights Council. This was to give a verbal report on human rights violations in Libya, at its 45th ordinary session.
During the meeting, Mohamed Aujjar, Chair of the Fact-finding Mission on Libya, thanked the civil society in Libya for its strong and principled call for accountability, which has proven critical.
He added that the mandate of the committee was broad and noted that this provided flexibility to consider a range of potential violations of human rights law as well as international humanitarian law, committed by various parties in Libya since 2016.
He expressed his hope that the mission’s work would lead to tangible outcomes, and improvements in the country’s human rights situation.
The acting head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Stephanie Williams, said that there had been some positive developments, including the peace process, and de-escalation of the conflict.
Williams called for the immediate closure of migrant detention centres managed by the Interior Ministry, as well as illegal detention facilities under the control of armed groups, linked to human trafficking networks. “In a country that was considered oil-rich, thousands were denied access to basic services, with water and electricity politicised by the parties to the conflict. The level of human suffering is simply unacceptable,” she noted.
During the meeting, the importance of the democratic track in Libya was reiterated, with technical cooperation being required. The swift appointment of the members of the Fact-Finding Mission was welcomed, and some speakers stressed that it had an enormous task ahead. They added that it was crucial that the mission be provided with the necessary funds, staff, and time to implement its mandate.
The deteriorating human rights situation, and the faltering economy were sources of concern. “All parties must invest in the conclusions of the Berlin Conference in order to ensure Libya’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence to the benefit of its people,” it was said.
Drawing attention to reports of harassment and intimidation of women in response to their public advocacy for women’s rights and gender equality, the speakers also urged the Libyan authorities to end impunity for gender-based violence.