Staff members of Jurists without Chains, a human rights organization in Benghazi, shut its premises late last year following numerous threats, a raid, and the firing of a projectile into their office. The national human rights institution of Libya, the National Council for Civil Liberties and Human Rights, also closed its offices in Tripoli in late 2014 as a result of intimidation, threats and raids.
“Armed groups across political, tribal, regional and ideological divides…are responsible for violations of international human rights and humanitarian law and abuses of human rights, including abductions, extra-judicial executions and other unlawful killings, torture and other ill-treatment. Human rights defenders seeking to document and denounce such violations and abuses have faced reprisals,” the report says.
The report warns that those committing crimes under international law, including many detailed in the report, are criminally liable, including before the International Criminal Court. It stresses the crucial need to resume building State institutions, particularly law enforcement agencies and the overall justice system. The report also urges all sides to publicly condemn attacks against civil society members.
Neighbouring countries and the international community should also ensure the protection of Libyan human rights defenders, including by issuing emergency visas and providing temporary shelter, the report urges.
The report also calls on the Libyan authorities and on those with effective control on the ground to immediately refrain from, and take action to stop, attacks on human rights defenders, and work towards creating a safer and more enabling environment for them to conduct their indispensable work for the protection and promotion of human rights in Libya.
Please click here to download the full report.