An investigation by the UN Human Rights Council found that there may have been war crimes and crimes against humanity in Libya by all parties to the conflict since 2016, including by external actors.
The Independent Fact-Finding Mission in Libya records everything from arbitrary detention to torture, the recruitment of child soldiers and mass killings, and the many gross human rights violations that impacted the country’s people and gave them reasonable grounds to categorize them as war crimes.
During 2019-2020, and also in the range of violence since 2016 marked by attacks on hospitals, schools and migrant detention centers, civilians are at the highest risk.
At a press conference in Geneva on Monday (4/10), Member of the Independent Fact-Finding Mission in Libya, Tracy Robinson, said, “Arbitrary detention in secret prisons and inhumane conditions of detention are widely used by the state and militias against anyone. perceived as a threat to their interests or views. The violence in prisons in Libya is perpetrated at such a scale and level that it constitutes a potential crime against humanity.”
Investigators on the mission published their findings after reviewing hundreds of documents and interviewing more than 150 people, as well as direct parallel studies in Libya, Tunisia and Italy.
The independent UN-appointed team of investigators also highlighted violence against migrants, refugees and other vulnerable minority groups – including LGBTQi individuals.
“Actions of violence against migrants are perpetrated on a wide scale by state, non-state actors and high-level state-driven organizations. All of these things have the potential to be tantamount to crimes against humanity,” said another member of the mission, Chaloka Beyani.
Beyani also referred to worrying reports of the continued presence of foreign fighters or rebels in the country from the Syrian conflict, and private mercenaries allegedly contracted by the Russia-based Wagner Group, in the battle for the Libyan capital from 2019 to 2020. , a claim previously highlighted by the UN Working Group. “Our investigation shows there are still foreign fighters, mercenaries, and they have not left Libya as required,” he said.
The names of the perpetrators of human rights violations are still kept secret
The chairman of the Independent Fact-Finding Mission in Libya Mohammed Auajjar noted that the recently sworn in Libyan National Unity Government has created the possibility of national dialogue and the unification of state institutions. The United Nations has supported peace efforts in Libya, which turned into chaos and conflict after the 2011 ouster of Moammar Gadhafi and left the country divided between the GNA’s Government of National Accord – which is recognized by the international community – and its rival, the Libyan National Army (LNA).
In a statement, the mission noted that it has identified Libyans and foreign actors who may be responsible for abuses, persecution and crimes that have occurred in Libya since 2016. These names will remain on a classified list until the need arises to publish or share them. information through other accountability mechanisms. It added that an investigation had been opened since 2011 by the ICC International Criminal Court into alleged crimes against humanity and war crimes in Libya, at the request of the UN Security Council. [em/lt]