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Chancellor Angela Merkel took the initiative almost two years ago to resolve the Libya crisis by creating a joint effort called The Berlin Process. Germany has positioned itself as mostly neutral putting it in a favorable position to broker political…
Fighters of Libya's UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) during clashes at the Ain Zara frontline, in the southern suburbs of capital Tripoli, with the forces of the Libyan National Army (LNA).
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Infringes on Basic Freedoms as Elections Loom

(Beirut) – National elections scheduled for December 2021 make it imperative for Libya’s Government of National Unity to revise or revoke sweeping restrictions on nongovernmental organizations, Human Rights Watch said today. The Presidential Council…
Newly appointed Libyan Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dabeiba
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Humanitarian Organization Warns Weapons Threaten ‘Our Shared Humanity’

The Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is calling on governments to ban fully autonomous weapons. ICRC President Peter Maurer said yesterday that he hopes the humanitarian organization’s public backing for new legally…
An ambulance covered in bullet holes
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Human Rights Watch Introduces Country Index Based on Laws, Policies

(Beirut) – Governments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) should outlaw the violent discipline of children, Human Rights Watch said today, introducing an index categorizing countries in the region based on their laws and policies. The MENA…
2020 Dadu Shin for Human Rights Watch
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UN Report Shows Transfers of Banned Landmines in Conflict

Buried in a new report by the United Nations Panel of Experts on Libya comes disturbing news about recent transfers of internationally banned antipersonnel landmines. The report shows that antipersonnel mines manufactured in Russia were likely brought…
PMN-2 blast mines recovered from Tripoli, Libya, December 2020. 
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Prioritize Justice, Accountability Ahead of Vote

(Beirut) – The newly confirmed Government of National Unity (GNU) should commit itself to significantly improve human rights conditions in Libya and ensure that elections planned for December 2021 are free and fair, Human Rights Watch said today.…
Newly appointed Libyan Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dabeiba
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Commitment from EU Governments Could Ease Crisis on Deadly Migration Routes

As the pandemic consumes Europe’s attention, a struggle for survival is taking place in the central Mediterranean. Since the start of 2021, at least 185 people have died in the stretch of waters between north Africa and Italy. Italian and European…
Migrants on a boat that they tried to take to Italy, after being detained at a Libyan Navy base in Tripoli on September 20, 2015.
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Grim Decade for Human Rights

(Beirut) – Justice remains elusive and impunity rampant a decade after the United Nations Security Council referred the situation in Libya to the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor, Human Rights Watch said today. Since 2011, multiple…
ICC permanent premises
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Calamitous Year for Human Rights

(Tunis) – Armed groups that support competing Libyan governments and their international benefactors have been responsible for massive civilian casualties, displacement, and destruction during 2020, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report…
Fighters of Libya's UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) during clashes at the Ain Zara frontline, in the southern suburbs of capital Tripoli, with the forces of the Libyan National Army (LNA).
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Hundreds in Tarhouna Reported Missing From 2014 to 2020

(Beirut) – Hundreds of residents of the Libyan town Tarhouna were abducted or reported missing between 2014 and 2020, Human Rights Watch said today. Authorities of the country’s Government of National Accord (GNA) say that they have discovered 27 mass…
Residents of the Libyan town Tarhouna who were abducted or reported missing between 2014 and 2020.
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On October 20, 2011, a Libyan revolutionary commander from Misrata called me jubilantly to break the news personally that Muammar Gaddafi, Libya’s long-time dictator, had finally been caught by rebel fighters near the coastal city of Sirte, his…
Armed forces allied to internationally recognized government fight with armed group in Tripoli, Libya September 22, 2018. © 2018 Hani Amara/Reuters
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Risk of Complicity in Unlawful Airstrikes in Yemen, Libya

(Washington) – The United States should halt proposed weapons sales to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Human Rights Watch said today. It should suspend all future sales until the UAE curtails unlawful airstrikes in Yemen and Libya, halts support and…
UAE flag with Dubai skyline
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Transparent Inquiry Needed into Latest Politically Motivated Killing

(Beirut) – Eastern Libyan authorities should promptly investigate the apparent politically motivated killing of a lawyer, Human Rights Watch said today. Hanan Al-Barassi, an outspoken critic of violations by armed groups in eastern Libya, was shot…
Hanan Al-Barassi, a Benghazi-based lawyer, was assassinated by unidentified gunmen on November 10, 2020, in her hometown.
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Accountability for Crimes Should Follow Ceasefire Agreement

Last week in Geneva the two main parties to the Libyan conflict signed a “complete and permanent” ceasefire under the auspices of the United Nations. This comes after one-and-a-half years of fighting that killed and maimed thousands of people,…
Armed forces allied to internationally recognized government fight with armed group in Tripoli, Libya September 22, 2018. © 2018 Hani Amara/Reuters
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Investigate Use of Lethal Force, Arbitrary Arrests

(Beirut) – Armed groups in Tripoli linked with Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) used lethal force to disperse largely peaceful anti-corruption protests in late August 2020 and arbitrarily detained, tortured, and disappeared people in the…
Protesters chant slogans during anti-corruption demonstrations in the capital Tripoli’s Martyrs' Square on August 25, 2020.
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Returns to Abusive Migrant Detention Centers Put Lives at Risk

Three young people are facing terrorism charges in Malta for refusing to be returned to almost certain detention and abuse in Libya. The “El Hiblu 3,” as they are known, appeared in a preliminary court hearing in Valetta on July 30; their trial is yet…
Migrants on a Libyan Coast Guard boat in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya, January 15, 2018.
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Void between Words and Deeds Harms French Credibility and Fight Against Impunity

In recent days, President Emmanuel Macron has repeatedly castigated Turkey for its “dangerous game” and “historical and criminal responsibility” in Libya, calling for an “end to foreign interference and unilateral acts by those who seek to gain an…
French President Emmanuel Macron walks with Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and General Khalifa Haftar, commander in the Libyan National Army (LNA), before a meeting for talks over a political deal to help end Libya’s crisis in La Celle-Saint-Cloud
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International Inquiry Could Include Seham Sergewa’s Abduction

(Beirut) – The whereabouts of Seham Sergewa, a member of Libya’s parliament, remain unknown since armed men apparently affiliated with the Libyan Arab Armed Forces (LAAF) abducted her from her home in the eastern city of Benghazi on July 17, 2019,…
Seham Sergewa, Libyan politician and member of the House of Representatives abducted in Benghazi on July 17, 2019, attends a session at the Human Rights Council, Geneva, Switzerland, 2015. © Private
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A Step Toward Accountability

(Geneva) The United Nations Human Rights Council on June 22, 2020 took a positive step toward accountability by establishing a fact-finding body to investigate violations by all sides in Libya, Human Rights Watch said today. The African Group at…
Fighting since April 2019 resulted in considerable damage to residential areas in the surroundings of Tripoli Airport, shown here on June 2, 2020.