UN reports Widespread Human Rights Abuses in Libya

UN reports widespread human rights abuses in Libya, where ‘complete impunity prevails’

A United Nations report published today has documented widespread human rights violations and abuses committed in Libya since the beginning of 2014, recommending urgent measures to address “the complete impunity that prevails” 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,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said in a press release.

The violations and abuses documented by the report from the High Commissioner’s Office (OHCHR) relate to unlawful killings, including executions of people taken captive, detained, abducted or perceived to be voicing dissent; indiscriminate attacks on highly populated residential areas; torture and ill-treatment; arbitrary detention; abductions and disappearances; and gender-based violence and discrimination against women.

Child Recruitment by ISIL and Attacks Targeting Women

Human rights defenders and journalists, migrants, and children are among the targets of those acts. For instance, cases of forced recruitment and use of children in hostilities by groups pledging allegiance to Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL/Da’esh, are also documented.

There has been a series of attacks by armed groups against women activists since 2014. The assassination of well-known activists, such as Salwa Bugaighis, Fareeha Al-Berkawi and Intissar Al-Hasaeri, and the threats, “harassment and assaults targeting many others appear designed to send a broader message that women should not be vocal in the public sphere,” notes the report.

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