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UN SG urges Libya to investigate alleged human rights abuse

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon [official profile] on Wednesday urged Libyan officials to investigate the allegations of human rights abuse in the country during the uprising against Muammar Gaddafi [BBC obituary; JURIST news archive]. The Secretary-General's call for the National Transitional Council (NTC) [official website] to investigate comes just days after the International Commission of Inquiry on Libya released its report [text] on war crimes and crimes against humanity in Libya. The report alleged that abuses were committed by both sides during the conflict—supporters of Gaddafi and opponents of his regime alike. The report also concluded that North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) [official website] forces did not deliberately bomb civilians during the uprising in Libya.

Allegations of war crimes and human rights violations have been widespread during the Libya conflict [JURIST backgrounder]. Last month Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] released a report [JURIST report] accused the ruling NTC of allowing the abuse and torture of supporters of the former leader by unofficial militias. In January the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay [official website] addressed [JURIST report] the UN Security Council [official website] expressing concern over alleged current human rights violations in Libya. Earlier that month Middle East rights groups alleged human rights violations [JURIST report] and that all parties involved, including NATO, committed acts ranging from use of excessive force against protesters to cruel and inhuman treatment of prisoners during detention. In October of last year AI alleged that Libyan forces arrested nearly 2,500 people who face ongoing torture and detainment [JURIST report] without formal charges. In September the NTC vowed to investigate allegations of human rights abuses after AI published a report [JURIST report] alleging that both sides of the Libya conflict are responsible for human rights abuses and warning the NTC to act quickly to investigate these allegations.

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