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LCW Annual Report for 2023 – Libya: Unending violations and rampant impunity

Press Release Libya Crimes Watch Annual Report for 2023 Libya: Unending violations and rampant impunity London, The United Kingdom &#8211…
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Libya Crimes Watch Annual Report for 2023
Libya Crimes Watch Annual Report for 2023

Press Release

Libya Crimes Watch Annual Report for 2023

Libya: Unending violations and rampant impunity

London, The United Kingdom – From the Derna Dam collapse, a horrific tragedy that claimed countless lives, to the relentless silencing and the persecution of civil society actors, Libyan authorities and armed groups continue to inflict unspeakable suffering upon everyone with total impunity.

This year’s annual report of Libya Crimes Watch details a disturbing pattern of violence against civilians documented by the LCW team in Libya from January to December 2023. The report explains the abuses committed against 276 victims, with a total of 337 crimes perpetrated by armed groups affiliated with both eastern and western Libyan authorities. Many victims suffered multiple violations. These crimes include the deaths of 20 civilians during military operations in populated areas, 13 victims of extrajudicial killings, and the discovery of 12 bodies in mass graves.  The plight of migrants is particularly concerning, with the report documenting 148 who have been killed, kidnapped, or subjected to arbitrary detention. 90 individuals have been subjected to enforced disappearance, often followed by brief detention and release without due process. The report also identifies 50 individuals who remain in detention. In the context of Gender-based violence, 4 women experienced arrest and humiliation and were targeted specifically for being females. The statistics represent a mere glimpse of a terrifying and painful reality. The LCW could not document many cases due to the climate of impunity, rampant crimes, and systematic violations in Libya.  Libyan authorities and armed groups actively conceal these atrocities by stifling civil society’s documentation efforts and resorting to excessive violence and intimidation.

Libya Crimes Watch urges immediate action to establish comprehensive mechanisms to ensure accountability and eradicate impunity in Libya. The organization emphasizes the necessity for the Libyan state to implement robust measures to achieve the independence of the judiciary and civil society free from governmental influence, prioritize the actual unification of the conflicting political fronts, and launch national reconciliation and transitional justice programs immediately. The report reveals disturbing facts within an environment of insecurity and widespread crimes with a prevalent increase in the government’s use of policies and legislation aiming to guarantee the dominance of security forces, foreshadowing a potential return to a corrupt dictatorship and an authoritarian regime.

The report reveals disturbing facts within an environment of insecurity and widespread lawlessness. It also highlights a prevalent increase in government policies and legislation designed to broadly empower the security forces. In Libya, activists, human rights defenders, lawyers, and journalists who play a role in promoting transparency and accountability continue to be at risk of kidnapping, arrest, torture, and online violence. Particularly, financial corruption, coupled with the absence of effective institutions and the rule of law in Libya, fosters a hazardous landscape where citizens experience a growing sense of fear and injustice. High stakeholders within the government exploit this environment to dominate Libya’s resources and wealth through privatization and dubious construction projects. These projects create a superficial illusion of progress, masking the reality of hundreds of families forcibly displaced from their homes.

Libya Crimes Watch expresses its grave concern regarding restrictions on public freedoms and fundamental civil and political rights in Libya. The governments continue to excessively attack the right to free expression, freedom of association, and the freedom of peaceful assembly. The organization condemns the persistent violations of the right to freedom from torture and other forms of ill-treatment and calls for the Libyan government to ensure the respect and protection of migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers on its territories. The organization hereby demands that the Government of National Unity, the General Command of the Libyan Arab Armed Forces, the Libyan House of Representatives, and the Presidential Council dismantle the extreme empowering of armed groups and security service forces operating under their direct authority or command. It compels the Libyan authorities to disclose the fate of all forcibly disappeared individuals and secure the immediate release of those arbitrarily detained. This must be accompanied by the establishment of robust mechanisms guaranteeing the right to redress for victims and the rehabilitation of survivors and/or their families.

Prior to reading its annual report, Libya Crimes Watch warned of the Libyan public’s silence regarding the consequences of the Derna disaster. LCW emphasizes the ongoing need to investigate Libyan state negligence and corruption and underscores the necessity of continued advocacy of civil society organizations and international mechanisms to outcry and address this disaster. Derna’s tragedy resulted in the loss of thousands of Libyan lives and hundreds of migrants. It continues to inflict profound suffering on the families of the missing and displaced. The organization underlines the absolute necessity of enforcing international support into the investigative and accountability processes and the vital importance of making the Derna Dams Collapse investigation’s findings public.

Link to the annual report Here:

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