From Amnesty International. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Libya Business News.
Five years ago, an initially peaceful uprising in Libya quickly developed into armed conflict involving Western military intervention and eventually ended when Colonel Mu’ammar al-Gaddafi was killed in October 2011.
Successive governments then failed to prevent newly-formed militias of anti al-Gaddafi fighters from committing serious crimes for which they never faced justice. The country remains deeply divided and since May 2014 has been engulfed in renewed armed conflict.
Here are seven ways human rights are under attack across the country:
1. All sides have committed war crimes and serious human rights abuses, including indiscriminate and direct attacks on civilians and their property. Hundreds have been abducted and tortured because of their perceived political or tribal affiliation, origin or opinion.
2. Armed groups are out of control. The so-called Islamic State (IS) took over certain areas where it has carried out public execution-style killings, sometimes leaving victims’ corpses on public display. It has also carried out public floggings and amputations, and publicized some crimes on social media.
3. Migrants and refugees face serious abuse. Many are tortured, exploited and sexually abused along the smuggling route in and out of Libya. Others have been detained indefinitely. Thousands have also sought to leave Libya and cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe in unseaworthy vessels. In 2015, more than 2,880 drowned while attempting the journey from northern Africa to Italy.