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GENEVA (25 February 2016) – A UN report* published on Thursday has documented widespread violations and abuses committed in Libya since the beginning of 2014. The report recommends urgent measures to fight against impunity and to strengthen and reform the justice sector.
“Despite the human rights situation in Libya, the country only sporadically makes the headlines. A multitude of actors – both State and non-State – are accused of very serious violations and abuses that may, in many cases, amount to war crimes,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein.
The violations and abuses documented relate to:
“One of the most striking elements of this report lies in the complete impunity which continues to prevail in Libya and the systemic failures of the justice system,” Zeid said.
“This report clearly shows that the justice system does not have the means or capacity to conduct prompt, independent and credible investigations or to prosecute those responsible for human rights violations or abuses,” the High Commissioner added.
Since 2014, judges and prosecutors have been subject to killings, court bombings, assaults and abductions. As a result, courts in Derna, Sirte and Benghazi ceased activities in 2014, with limited re-activation of courts in parts of Benghazi in 2015, and victims have had little recourse to seek protection or to an effective remedy. This impunity is facilitating further abuses.
“In the absence of proper protection, the judiciary cannot deliver justice,” says the report, which notes that the system for providing security is “inadequate and flawed,” as thousands of members of armed groups have been integrated into the Judicial Police with limited vetting
Whilst recognizing the significant challenges facing the authorities, the report recommends urgent action to stop the proliferation of armed groups through disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, and a vetting programme to remove and prevent the recruitment of individuals responsible for human rights violations or abuses.
The report further calls upon the international community to ensure that the International Criminal Court, which has jurisdiction over Libya, has the necessary resources to carry out its investigations and prosecutions.
The report also suggests a number of priority actions, which include:
*The report was prepared on the basis of an investigation established by the High Commissioner pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 28/30.
Two versions of the report are available.
To access the shorter version of the report, please go to: http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/LY/A_HRC_31_47_E.pdf To access a more extensive version, with detailed findings of the investigation and a map, please go to: http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/LY/A_HRC_31_CRP_3.pdf
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