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Human Rights Groups Call for Renewal of UN Fact-Finding Mission’s Mandate in Libya

On Sunday, 18 human rights organizations called on the UN Human Rights Council to support the renewal of the UN Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) mandate on Libya, “as a matter of urgency, at the upcoming 50th session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC).”


In a letter sent to the UN Security Council, the organizations welcomed the establishment of the FFM through resolution 43/39, in June 2020.
They said that the mission “aimed to investigate violations and abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law throughout Libya, by all parties since the beginning of 2016.”

In October 2021, the HRC renewed the FFM’s mandate for a period of nine months, until the end of June 2022. It is scheduled to present its comprehensive report to the HRC on 6 July 2022.
To date, the investigatory work of the FFM has proven vital in establishing facts related to violations of international human rights law, and international humanitarian law committed in Libya since 2016.

However, the work of the FFM is far from complete. Its renewal is “imperative to continue investigating ongoing crimes and violations, shed light on the human rights situation, and to send a strong message that the prevailing environment of impunity can no longer be tolerated.”

“Supporting pathways to accountability, including through international investigative mechanisms such as the FFM, is key to restoring the rule of law,” they noted.

Libya is once again in a political stalemate that continues to fragment the country. Armed groups and militias exploit institutional weaknesses, and commit crimes with impunity.

The Libyan judiciary has largely failed to bring human rights violators to account, including in relation to the mass killings in Tarhuna. Armed groups and militias have subjected prosecutors and judges to abduction, threats, and other violence.

In violation of the UN arms embargo, several states continue to provide military support to both sides, while thousands of foreign fighters remain in the country.

The FFM’s investigations indicated that “several Libyan parties to the conflict violated international humanitarian law, and potentially committed war crimes.”

The systematic crackdown on civic space has escalated at an alarming rate. Civil society actors, especially those working on human rights and peacebuilding, face constant harassment, defamation, threats, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, torture, and other ill-treatment and unfair trials.

The FFM has also reported that women and girls in Libya face physical attacks, harassment, and a myriad of institutional and social obstacles that often limit their ability to participate in public life.

In addition, the mission’s work has shed further light on the violations committed against non-nationals, such as migrants, asylum seekers, refugees, and stateless people. Whether at sea by the Coast Guard, or by detention center guards, at the hands of traffickers and smugglers – and noted that they may amount to crimes against humanity.

“In this context, we strongly urge your delegation to ensure the renewal and proper resourcing of the FFM on Libya at the upcoming session of the HRC, with an extended mandate of at least one year, to enable it to continue its vital work,” they said.

The signed organizations are as follows:
Adala for All
Al-Aman Organisation against Racial Discrimination
Amnesty International
Aswat Libya Network
Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS)
Defender Centre for Human Rights (DCHR)
Human Rights Watch
Independent Organisation for Human Rights
International Commission of Jurists (ICJ)
International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
Jurists without Chains (JWC)
Lawyers for Justice in Libya (LFJL)
Libyan Crimes Watch (LCW)
Libyan Organisation for Independent Media (LOFIM)
Libyan Organisation for Legal Aid
Libyan Women’s Platform for Peace (LWPP)
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)
Youth for Tawergha

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