Libya: UN Rights Body Should Renew Libya Fact-Finding Mission, Support Accountability

press release

Item 10 Interactive Dialogue with the Fact-finding mission on Libya

Thank you, Madam President.

We welcome the report of the independent fact-finding mission on Libya and echo serious concerns raised regarding violations of international human rights and humanitarian law by all parties in Libya.

The establishment of the fact-finding mission by the Human Rights Council in June 2020 represented a positive step toward accountability for violations committed by all parties to the Libya conflict since the beginning of 2016. We regret the numerous challenges faced by the FFM in pursuing its work, and believe the nine-month mandate extension currently under discussion is insufficient for the mission to effectively deliver on the broad mandate it was granted by this Council.

The human rights situation in Libya is still precarious, and impunity prevails for past and ongoing violations and abuses under international. Armed groups and forces linked with successive interim governments have been responsible for systematic violations, including holding thousands of people in long-term arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, and torture. Authorities continue to arbitrarily detain migrants and asylum seekers who pass through Libya, who risk beatings, extortion, sexual violence, and forced labor in detention centers nominally under the state, and by armed groups and smugglers.

Human Rights Watch has also reported on recent sweeping restrictions enacted against domestic and international civic groups in the country, which appear to be designed to prevent them from carrying out activities independently. This further underscores the critical importance of maintaining proper international scrutiny, particularly in the lead up to planned national elections.

We urge the Council to demonstrate its commitment to accountability for past and on-going violations in Libya by renewing the FFM's mandate in full and providing the support it needs to effectively continue its work.

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