Mitri Speaks on Human Rights in Libya

UNSMIL is equally committed to assist in the development of an action plan that benefits from other experiences around the world at the levels of laws, tools and modalities, in order to address this heavy legacy - with all its ugliness and the harm that it has caused, and to bring justice to the victims. However, all of us are still taking first steps, for much serious and urgent work still awaits our Libyan friends, and we are with them in spite of the difficulties that may be encountered.

In conjunction with all this, one has to emphasize that human rights are pivotal to the building of the new Libya. This is what the Constitutional Declaration indicated, and this is what was expressed in various pronouncements of the Libyan revolution and through the positions of its leaders, in the diversity of their roles, ideological orientations and political tendencies.

Moreover, it seems to us that this emphasis enjoys a national consensus, which stems from a genuine and strong desire that the practices of the past are not repeated in any form, and that the new Libya is kept antithetical to the oppression and persecution that were inflicted on the Libyan people during the past decades of tyranny. It appears to us through the dialogue we have with various Libyan authorities and figures, that this national consensus is stronger than the threats of unacceptable practices, violations and seeing victims, in some cases, emulating their oppressors. The safeguarding and sustainability of this national consensus require that no justification is given for behaviors that contradict the values and aspirations of the revolution.

Furthermore, defending human rights should not be used as a weapon by one group against another, but should be a tool that enables all to fulfill the goals of their revolution in terms of putting an end to oppression, and committing to the requirements of national accord that are based on the foundation of common values. The preservation of human dignity, liberty and inalienable rights are at the heart of those values. The continued pursuit of building national consensus on human rights values and means through which those rights can be upheld and translated into laws and practices require moving beyond pure moral condemnation of violations or criminalization of those responsible for them, towards the fulfillment of justice, preventing revenge and ensuring respect of victims and their families.

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