UN mission in Libya discovers abuse, investigates mass graves | News about human rights

The UN fact-finding mission’s second report documents widespread abuse of migrants and activists in Libya and aims to investigate the allegations of mass graves.

United Nations investigators have found further evidence of human rights violations against detainees in Libya and are seeking to verify the existence of mass graves believed to contain the corpses of migrants in a human trafficking center.

In its second report released Tuesday, the Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Libya (FFM) said there were reasonable grounds to believe that international human rights and humanitarian law are being violated at several secret detention centers in Libya.

“We found further evidence that the human rights violations experienced by detainees in Libya are widespread, systematic, or both,” Mohamed Auajjar, the chairman of the FFM, said in a statement.

The 18-page report will be presented to the Geneva Human Rights Council on Wednesday.

Violations include intimidation and intimidation of activists, attacks on the judiciary and abuse of vulnerable groups, including migrants and women.

The mission also stated that it is investigating testimonies of “mass graves” in the desert city of Bani Walid.

The mayor of Bani Walid, Younis al-Azozi, acknowledged the abuse of migrants in the past, but said the situation has improved in recent years.

“We deny what the report says… No group or organization has visited the city in a long time and we don’t know where this group got its information,” he said.

The UN report, the second of three, based on some 120 interviews between October and March, identified serious violations against migrant women in the city where the mass grave is believed to be.

“If migrants… heard the word Bani Walid, he or she would start to cry. They set fire to and burned women’s breasts and vaginas there,” a female migrant told the researchers.

It is not known how many bodies are buried in the graves. Chaloka Beyani, one of the three members of the mission, said a newly appointed forensic expert would conduct further investigations.

The FFM also investigated a raid in the Gargaresh area of ​​Tripoli in early October. The crackdown resulted in the arrest of more than 5,000 people and the detention of several vulnerable people, including 215 children and more than 540 women, the UN International Organization for Migration (IOM) said.

Beyani said the situation for migrants in Libya was “very, very dire” and called for technical assistance to help Libya hold the perpetrators accountable.

democratic transition

In addition to widespread abuse against migrants, the UN report also focused on violations affecting the country’s democratic transition, such as the intimidation of activists, and raised concerns about secret prisons allegedly run by rival armed militias.

The findings came as Libya experienced further political turmoil after postponing democratic elections scheduled for December. This led to fact-finding investigations into violations, abuses and crimes that could especially hinder the transition to the rule of law and democratic elections, the report said.

The UN found that several worrying incidents in the run-up to the scheduled vote have cast doubt on the fulfillment of the obligations of Libya’s de facto authorities to guarantee the freedom of expression and assembly of its citizens, including detention by armed groups of persons from Sirte for expressing their political views.

The UN Human Rights Council established the FFM in June and mandated it to investigate alleged violations and abuses of international human rights law and international humanitarian law in Libya since 2016.

The FFM’s first report in October documented acts of murder, torture, incarceration, rape and enforced disappearance committed in Libyan prisons, which could amount to crimes against humanity.

It is planned to provide a comprehensive report at the next council meeting in June.

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