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Libya: UN Rights Body Should Renew Fact-Finding Mission

Item 10 - Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Libya - HRC50

Delegates sit at the opening of the 41th session of the Human Rights Council, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, June 24, 2019. © 2019 Magali Girardin/Keystone via AP

Thank you, Mr Vice President, 

Human Rights Watch welcomes the third report of the Independent Fact Finding Mission (FFM) on Libya, and notes the Libyan government’s cooperation with the Mission during its recent visits to the country.

However, the report makes clear that the Mission’s investigative work is incomplete. While we welcome the draft resolution tabled at this session renewing the FFM’s mandate, we note with concern the extremely short timeframe proposed that would extend the mandate for a final nine months.

Human rights conditions in Libya remain precarious as serious abuses carried out by armed groups are rampant and impunity for past abuses continues.

Landmines and abandoned or unexploded ordnance left from several waves of conflict from 2011 onward continue to cause severe civilian harm and displacement. To date, no commanders or Libyan or foreign fighters responsible for serious abuses, including use of antipersonnel mines during the 2019-2020 Tripoli war, have been held to account.

Sweeping restrictions against domestic and international civic groups in the country remain in place, effectively muzzling independent groups doing vital human rights and humanitarian work.

The FFM’s investigative work has a key role to play in supporting pathways to accountability for past and ongoing violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law in Libya. We urge the Council to demonstrate its commitment to accountability by supporting the renewal of the FFM mandate for a period of at least one year.

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