Mitri Briefs UN Security Council

16. In my last briefing, I reported on the situation in Bani Walid which has since stabilized. Our human rights team is continuing to follow-up on alleged human rights violations committed during and in the aftermath of the conflict. A documented report has been completed and I will present it upon my return to the Libyan authorities.

17. Events in Bani Walid and elsewhere highlighted the urgent need to promote reconciliation and transitional justice. In December, the UN in collaboration with the Ministry of Justice and relevant government entities held two conferences on reconciliation and transitional justice. A new draft law on transitional justice, introduced by the Minister of Justice, provides for a more coherent truth-seeking mechanism, clearer provisions of criminal accountability, and expanded provisions on compensation.

18. Various efforts towards holding together the need for national reconciliation and the imperative of justice are likely to be affected by tensions that may be created or exacerbated by the divisive character of certain thorny issues. Following the exclusion from public positions of persons associated with the previous regime of Qadhafi, on the basis of reviews by the Commission on Integrity and Patriotism, there is a strong drive among certain political forces to take this even further. On December 26th and following the proposal of some of its members, the General National Congress discussed the adoption of a law on “political isolation” as they call it, and formed a committee to make a proposal. UNSMIL encourages consultations on this proposal, looking carefully into possible undesirable effects on reconciliation, social cohesiveness and political pluralism. We affirm that the distinction between personal misconduct and affiliation need not be overshadowed by the desire to be receptive to a popular demand. Any law should also provide sufficient due process guarantees for those whose rights are affected.

19. The continued detention without due process and mistreatment of several thousand people stemming from the conflict remains a source of deep concern. While there has been some progress in the screening and processing of conflict-related detainees, this has remained limited in scope. UNSMIL continues to urge the Libyan authorities to accelerate the screening of these detainees, the release of those against whom there is insufficient evidence, and the transfer of detainees to state-controlled facilities. Additionally, UNSMIL continues to advise Libyan authorities on prison reform. UNSMIL has also commenced weekly meetings with the General National Congress human rights committee and held additional trainings of civil society organizations.

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