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Universal Periodic Review – MEDIA BRIEF

Wednesday, 13 May 2015 (Afternoon)

(Disclaimer: The following brief is not an official record, provides a brief factual summary of the UPR Working Group meeting with the State under review, and does not cover all points addressed)

State under review

Represented by 15 member delegation headed by Hassan A. M. Alsghayr, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Libya.


To access national report, compilation of UN information, and summary of stakeholders’ information, visit the Libya  page on UPR website.

Troika *

El Salvador, Maldives, South Africa.  

Opening statement by State under review

Few points raised in the  opening statement of State under review:
(See full statement on Libya  page on UPR Extranet **)

  • Since the Libyan revolution of 2011, the country has undergone a rapid transition marked by political crises which have exacerbated the challenges facing the State in implementing human rights and also a situation of violence resulting in mass displacement;
  • During its first UPR in November 2010, Libya initially accepted 66 out of 120 recommendations posed and eventually 115 in total; some of these accepted recommendations have not been implemented fully due to institutional difficulties and political and security challenges which were the result of the more than three-decade long former dictatorship;
  • Since the new government was formed in 2012, it had endeavoured to implement human rights reforms and overcome existing challenges, including the spread of weapons, the growing number of terrorist groups and illegal immigration, all of which had an adverse impact on human rights and the rule of law;
  • In highlighting the on-going insecurity, the head of delegation referred to an attack the day before near the city of Benghazi where three children were killed as a result of a rocket attack; the Minister called on the international community to address the scourge of terrorist attacks and regretted the lack of support from the international community in that regard;
  • The Government was committed to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, social protection and the right to equality before the law, all of which were incorporated into domestic legislation;
  • A committee was established to draft a rights-based constitution which bore in mind the rights of women and vulnerable groups; the committee started working in March 2014;
  • A national council for human rights was established in compliance with the Paris Principles which aimed to defend human rights and fundamental freedoms and strengthen civil society; the number of civil society organisations at present was more than 3,000;
  • Among recent legislation adopted was that to allow exiles and refugees to return to Libya, on the right to peaceful assembly, on criminalising torture and enforced disappearances and to ensure that civilians were not tried before military courts;
  • Moreover, after the revolution several measures were adopted to improve the living standards of Libyans, including those which increased the minimum wage and pensions and on combatting corruption;
  • The State provided free health services, including through health centres throughout the country and there was also a programme for vaccination which was regarded one of the best in the region;
  • Illegal immigration has had an adverse impact on economic and social sectors which required regional and international support to remedy;
  • International support must be provided to the State structure so as to bring about national reconciliation and to support the rule of law and uphold human rights; the UN mission was providing vital support in that regard.


In total 87 States participated in the dialogue:  31 HRC members and 56 observers  (Statements available on Libya  page on UPR Extranet).

Positive achievements

Positive achievements noted by delegations included, among others:

  • The establishment of the National Council for Civil Liberties and Human Rights in 2013;
  • The standing invitation extended to all Special Procedures mandate holders;
  • Efforts made towards the normalization of the situation on the ground and the protection of human rights in light of the current challenges in combatting terrorism;
  • The setting up of the Constitution Drafting Assembly;
  • Libya’s determination to honour its international commitments and its continued commitment to collaborate with the OHCHR in the current context;
  • The concerted efforts to rebuild State institutions, re-establish security and enforce the rule of law.

Issues and Questions

Issues and questions raised by the Working Group included, among others:

  • The wide-spread arbitrary detentions, tortures and abductions and reports of extrajudicial executions, torture, abductions and other grave violations;
  • The human rights violations, attacks or other threats against human rights defenders, media professionals, judicial officers and government officials;
  • Reports of possible war crimes committed by militias and other armed forces  on all sides and the high level of impunity;
  • The situation of migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees;
  • The huge challenges currently facing Libya in the context of the armed conflict, the deteriorating security situation and current political situation in the country;
  • The ongoing national dialogue aiming to a political consensus among all parties.


States participating in the dialogue posed a series of recommendations to Libya.  These pertained to the following issues, among others

  • To take all measures to promote and  ensure equality and empowerment  of women at all levels of society, including participation in political decision making;
  • To ensure full support to the Constitutional drafting Assembly and to ensure that the new Constitution is fully compliant to human rights standards;
  • To establish a moratorium on the death penalty;
  • To fully cooperate with the International Criminal Court;
  • To develop a comprehensive strategy to address internal displacement and help affected people;
  • To continue moving towards establishing a comprehensive unity government and to fully commit to the United Nations Support Mission in Libya dialogue process;
  • To ensure that the National Council for Civil Liberties and Human Rights is brought in conformity with the Paris Principles;
  • To develop plans for transitional justice and accountability;
  • To take measures to address the issue of trafficking in persons;
  • To investigate all cases of killings and attacks of human rights defenders and of journalists;
  • To take urgent steps to address the plight of migrants, asylum seekers, refugees and internally displaced persons;
  • Ratification of human rights instruments: the Convention on the Protection of all Persons against Enforced Disappearance;  the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; the Second Optional Protocol to the Convention on Civil and political Rights; the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture; the 1951 Convention on the Statues of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol; the Rome Statute of the ICC, ILO Convention 189 on Decent Work for Domestic Workers, and the African Union Kampala Convention for the Protection and assistance of Internally Displace Persons in Africa.

Adoption of report of Working Group

The adoption of the report of the UPR Working Group on Libya  is scheduled to take place onFriday, 15 May 2015.

*The troikas are a group of three States selected through a drawing of lots who serve as rapporteurs and who are charged with preparing the report of the Working Group on the country review with the involvement of the State under review and assistance from the OHCHR.

** For access to the UPR Extranet, please fill out the following form to receive a username and password

Media contacts:

Rolando Gómez, Public Information Officer, OHCHR, + 41(0)22 917 9711, [email protected]
Cédric Sapey, Public Information Officer, OHCHR, + 41(0)22 917 9695, [email protected]