UN rights report illustrates ‘bleak picture’ of Libya in 2014
UN rights report illustrates ‘bleak picture’ of Libya in 2014

[JURIST] A spokesperson for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) [official website] said [press release] Tuesday that a report [text, DOC], produced jointly with the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) [official website], “paints a bleak picture” of the human rights situation in Libya during 2014. The report, to be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in March, “depicts a country suffering from increasing turmoil and lawlessness, inflamed by a multitude of competing, heavily armed groups and a broadening political crisis.” With this, the report calls for “strengthening State institutions [and] urges accountability for human rights violations and support for the ongoing political dialogue.” The report found extreme suffering among women and children, along with target violence, unlawful killings and assassinations, torture, abductions, and summary executions of media professionals, members of the judiciary, politicians, and law enforcement officers.

Libya remains politically unstable nearly four years after the 2011 uprising [JURIST backgrounder] and subsequent civil war that deposed Muammar Gaddafi. In December the OHCHR and the UNSMIL released a joint report [JURIST report] describing civilian populations in Libya being subjected to shelling, abduction, torture, execution and deliberate destruction of property. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein [official profile] attributed the potential war crimes to a feud between two Libyan governments and several military groups. In November Chief Prosecutor for the ICC Fatou Bensouda [official profile] warned that increasing violence and political instability in Libya are impeding measures to end impunity [JURIST report]. Earlier that month the Supreme Court in Libya declared the UN-backed elected parliament unconstitutional [JURIST report]. In October Amnesty International released a report accusing rival militias in Libya of committing serious human rights abuses [JURIST report], including war crimes.