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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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200 Held in Squalid Camps and Prisons in Libya, Syria, Iraq

(Tunis) – Tunisian officials have been dragging their feet on helping bring home Tunisian children held without charge in foreign camps and prisons for families of Islamic State (also known as ISIS) members, Human Rights Watch said…
A woman walks with a child in Roj camp, which holds foreign wives and children of Islamic State (ISIS) members, in northeast Syria, September 2018. © 2018 Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty Images
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Mounting Violations; No Route to Justice

(Geneva) – Unaccountable and violent armed groups maintain a stranglehold on Libya, while civilians pay the price in the divided country, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2019. Libyan authorities should prioritize…
Armed forces allied to internationally recognized government fight with armed group in Tripoli, Libya September 22, 2018. © 2018 Hani Amara/Reuters
News

Carnage in Benghazi

(Beirut) – Unidentified armed groups detonated two car bombs in front of a mosque in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi on January 23, 2018, killing at least 34 people and wounding over 90, Human Rights Watch said. According to…
People walk near a puddle of water mixed with blood at the site of twin car bombs near a mosque in the Salmani neighborhood of Benghazi that resulted in scores of deaths and injuries, Libya, January 24, 2018. © 2018 Reuters
News

Respond to Youth Demands, Gain Respect in the World

(Beirut) – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) governments can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
News

International Criminal Court Issues Warrant for LNA Commander

(Beirut) – Forces loyal to the Libyan National Army (LNA) in eastern Libya appear to have executed captured fighters in Benghazi and desecrated corpses, Human Rights Watch said today. Video recordings posted online since January 2017 seem to show LNA…
The above image is a screenshot from a video posted on July 24, 2017 showing the apparent summary execution by LNA fighters of 20 prisoners, whom the commander, believed to be ICC suspect Mahmoud Al-Werfalli (wearing cap),  accuses of “terrorism.”
News
General Khalifa Hiftar Commander of the Libyan National Army Al-Marj, Libya Delivery by e-mail Dear General Hiftar: Human Rights Watch has been tracking violations against civilians in Benghazi since the 2011 uprising. Our researchers were…
Report
Summary No one here reports to police because they fear for their lives. . . . There are people who have been missing for more than nine months. Some are taken for a few weeks or days for questioning and then returned, so it is…
Video
Kenyan security forces have forcibly disappeared at least 34 people in the past two years during abusive counterterrorism operations in Nairobi and in northeastern Kenya. The military was actively involved in raiding homes and compounds to arrest people…
News
Amjad bin Sasi was a cocky 23-year-old who didn’t mind his tongue, even after the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) took over his home city of Sirte on Libya’s coast. Last December, ISIS executed bin Sasi for swearing. His horror story was…
An ISIS official makes an announcement ahead of the execution of two men for “sorcery” in Sirte, Libya. Image from a 2015 Islamic State (ISIS) video. The online clearinghouse Jihadology.net posted the video on its website.
Report
Summary The final stage of the [2011] revolution was in Sirte. We were filled with hope. Then step by step, Daesh took over. Now we feel we are cursed. -“Ali,” resident who fled ISIS in Sirte In…
News
“Maria,” a Ugandan worker, paid $400 in 2013 to an agency in the United Arab Emirates that promised her a job in a mall in Dubai. Instead, the agency placed her as a domestic worker with half the salary she had been promised. Maria told me that her…
A female employer and her children are accompanied by their domestic worker, back right, as they walk through The Avenues, an indoor luxury shopping center in Kuwait City.
News
The latest reports of targeted US attacks on  militant leaders abroad – one in Libya and one in Yemen —once again raise the issue of the secrecy around these attacks, especially the drone attacks under CIA jurisdiction.   But Congress may be…
News

Vague Provisions Endanger Rights

(Washington) – Libya’s House of Representatives should urgently amend provisions of a counterterrorism law that could be used to curtail free speech and rights to peaceful assembly and movement. The law runs afoul of Libya’s obligations under…
News

Response of Kenyan Security Forces Should Protect Rights

(Nairobi) – The abominable attack on Garissa University College in northeastern Kenya requires a measured response by Kenyan security forces to bring to justice those responsible and prevent further attacks. At least 147 have been confirmed dead and 80…
News
We, the undersigned organisations, call upon the 41 Governments that compose the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies, to take action and address the alarming proliferation of surveillance…
News

Donors Should Suspend Support for Abusive Units

(Nairobi) – There is strong evidence that Kenya’s Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) has carried out a series of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. Human Rights Watch also found evidence of arbitrary arrests and mistreatment of terrorism…
News

Rightly Charged in Federal Court, Not Guantanamo Military Commissions

(Washington, DC) – The United States government should ensure that Ahmed Abu Khatallah, apprehended for his alleged role in the September 11, 2012 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, is brought promptly before a judge and provided access to a…