I call on the Government to establish alternatives to detention in Libya, to halt the practice of arbitrary detention, and to ensure accountability for the abuses perpetrated against migrants in detention centres. The authorities indicated that one of the detention centres in Surman, where there have been serious allegations of sexual abuse, has been closed. We intend to work with the Government to confirm the closure.
The human rights challenges in Libya are massive, but they are not insurmountable. The large-scale near-collapse in the justice system, the power and influence of armed groups, and the many challenges faced by the Government are real. But the Government can and should lead. It can begin combating the practice of arbitrary detention and taking back the powers given to armed groups. The situation in detention centres can be addressed.
A concerted effort by the Government, and all stakeholders, including the United Nations and the international community, can move the needle and improve the situation.
It is crucial that the challenges are addressed and that there is a constant effort to make progress – no matter how small, no matter how difficult - towards accountability. Everyone I met during the visit, from the Prime Minister himself, the Ministers, civil society, women human rights defenders to those in the IDP camp, wanted improvements in the implementation of the rule of law.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and I share the conviction that human rights, the re-establishment of the rule of law, and the need to combat impunity must be part and parcel of the political process and will underpin a sustainable political settlement in Libya.
I am optimistic that the openness of the Government, the implementation of the Plan of Action announced by the Secretary-General and his Special Representative last month in New York will bear positive and concrete results in our respective efforts to support an improvement of the human rights situation in Libya. We will continue to offer our support towards this end.