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Commission of Inquiry concludes first part of investigations in Libya

20 December 2011

The United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Libya visited Tripoli in Libya from 31 November to 16 December 2011 as part of its continuing investigations into serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed by all parties to the conflict in the country.

“We were pleased to receive assurances of the Government’s continued commitment to human rights, and we are encouraged by the initial steps the Government is taking to address the human rights violations that occurred during the recent conflict,” said Judge Philippe Kirsch, Chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry.

During their visit, Commissioners met with the Chairman of the National Transitional Council and other senior officials in the Libyan Government. They also met with representatives of non-governmental organizations and interviewed detainees at Matiga detention facility.

“The Commission has been investigating, as per its mandate, serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed by the Gaddafi regime, as well as other forces involved in the conflict,” said Judge Kirsch.

The Commissioners and investigators also visited a site where alleged extrajudicial killings were committed by Gaddafi forces in Tripoli and received testimony about other serious violations during their visit.

The Commission will return to Libya in January 2012 to continue its investigations in Ajdabiya, Benghazi, Bani Walid, Brega, Misratah, Nalut, Sirte, Yefren and Zintan, and is confident that it will receive the same cooperation from the Libyan authorities as it has received during this investigative mission.

BACKGROUND

The UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on Libya was established by the Human Rights Council pursuant to resolution S 15/1 of 25 February 2011. The Human Rights Council requested the Commission to investigate all alleged violations of international human rights law in Libya, to establish the facts and circumstances of such violations and of the crimes perpetrated and, where possible to identify those responsible, to make recommendations, in particular on accountability measures, all with a view to ensuring that those individuals responsible are held accountable.

The Commissioners are Judge Philippe Kirsch (Chair), Prof. Cherif M. Bassiouni and Ms Asma Khader. The Commission presented its first report to the Human Rights Council in June 2011 (A/HRC/17/44). The Human Rights Council extended the mandate of the Commission (resolution A/HRC/17/L.3) and requested it to present an oral update in September 2011 and its final report on 9 March 2012.

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For use of the information media; not an official record