Human Rights and Democracy Report

The UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office has issuued the following update on human rights and democracy in Libya:

Progress on improving human rights in Libya continues to move slowly. A volatile political situation and the Libyan government’s ongoing difficulties in exerting full control over security remain the biggest obstacles to stability in Libya. Consequently, the same challenges remain as previously reported: lack of government capacity, an under-developed judicial system, and limited understanding across the country of the practical application of human rights.

While Libyan government rhetoric on human rights continues to be positive, it is crucial for Libya’s future that the Libyan authorities continue to make progress on the constitutional process. In this regard, we welcome the passing of the law governing how elections in July to the constitutional “Committee of Sixty” will operate. It is important that representatives of women and minority groups participate fully in the process and have an effective voice in the constitutional drafting assembly.

We remain concerned about continuing reports of harassment of journalists by militia groups, with a number of abductions and attacks being reported since the beginning of August. While the Libyan government has made encouraging statements on the importance of promoting freedom of expression, its ability to protect journalists from harassment and intimidation is constrained by its relative lack of control over security in general.

The conditions of some detention facilities and the treatment of detainees – including overcrowding, lack of food and medical supplies and incidents of torture and mistreatment - remain largely unaddressed. Ministers have argued these concerns apply mainly to militia-controlled detention centres. We remain concerned about issues around detention facilities, but welcome on going efforts by the Libyan government to bring all detention facilities under state control to ensure all detainees’ human rights are respected and that detention centres operate according to international standards.

(Source: UK FCO)

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