Al Jumahiriyah al Libiyah
Joined United Nations: 14 December 1955
Human Rights as assured by their constitution
Updated 06 April 2013
note: includes 166,510 non-nationals (July 2013 est.)
Prime Minister since 14 October 2012
El-Megarif will hold the office until a new constitution is in place
sometime next year. He replaces Mustafa Abd Al-Jalil, head of the
outgoing transitional council, which was disbanded on 15 August
2012 when Abd Al-Jalil handed power to the new assembly.
Next scheduled election: 2013
HEAD OF GOVERNMENT
Elected by majority vote of the General National Congress .
Election last held: 14 October 2012
Next scheduled election: 2013 (six months following the
adoption of a new constitution
|DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
Berber and Arab 97%, other 3% (includes Greeks, Maltese, Italians, Egyptians, Pakistanis, Turks, Indians, and Tunisians)
Sunni Muslim 97%, other 3%
Operates under a transitional government with 25 municipalities (baladiyat, singular - baladiyah); Legal system is based on Italian
and French civil law systems and Islamic law; separate religious courts; no constitutional provision for judicial review of legislative
acts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Executive: the UN in September 2011 recognized the Libyan Transitional National Council (TNC) as the legitimate governing
authority for Libya until an interim government is in place; Interim President elected 17 August 2012, Prime Minister elected 14
October 2012; next elections expected in early 2013, six months following the propagation of a new constitution)
Legislative: The UN in September 2011 recognized the Libyan Transitional National Council (TNC) as the legitimate governing
authority for Libya Elections last held: 13 September 2012 (next elections expected in early 2013, six months following the
propagation of a new constitution)
Judicial: Independent Judicial Authority
Arabic, Italian, English, all are widely understood in the major cities
In ancient times, the Phoenicians and Carthaginians, the armies of Alexander the Great and his Ptolemaic successors from Egypt,
then Romans, Vandals, and local representatives of the Byzantine Empire ruled parts of Libya. The territory of modern Libya had
separate histories until Roman times, as Tripoli and Cyrenaica. Tripoli was originally a group of Phoenician colonies dependent on
Carthage. Carthage and its dependencies all fell to Rome during the course of the three Punic Wars. Tripoli is the ancient sea port at
the terminus of three great caravan routes linking the coast with Lake Chad and Timbuktu across the Sahara. Cyrenaica, by
contrast, was already heavily colonized by the Greeks centuries before it became a Roman province. It was also known as
Pentapolis, the "five cities" ; being Cyrene (near the village of Shahat) with its port of Apollonia (Marsa Susa), Arsinoe (Tocra),
Berenice (Bengazi) and Barca (Al Marj). From the oldest and most famous of the Greek colonies the fertile coastal plain took the
name of Cyrenaica. In 647 an army of 40,000 Arabs, led by ‘Abdu’llah ibn Sa‘ad, the foster-brother of Caliph Uthman ibn Affan,
invaded western Libya. Tripoli was taken from the Byzantines, followed by Sufetula, a city 150 miles south of Carthage, where the
Exarch Gregory was killed. Gregory's successor, Gennadius, promised them an annual tribute of some 330,000 nomismata.
Gennadius also sent the usual surplus of revenues over expenditures to Constantinople, but otherwise administered Africa as he
liked. When Gennadius refused to pay the additional sums demanded from Constantinople, his own men overthrew him. Following
the revolt, Gennadius fled to Damascus and asked for aid from Muawiyah, to whom he had paid tribute for years. The caliph sent a
sizable force with Gennadius to invade Africa in 665. Even though the deposed exarch died after reaching Alexandria, the Arabs
marched on. The Byzantines dispatched an army to reinforce Africa, but its commander Nicephorus the Patrician lost a battle with
the Arabs and reembarked. Uqba ibn Nafi and Abu Muhajir al Dinar did much to promote Islam and in the following centuries most
of the indigenous peoples converted. In 750 the Abbasid dynasty overthrew the Ummayad caliph and shifted the capital to
Baghdad, with emirs retaining nominal control over the Libyan coast on behalf of the far-distant caliph. In 800 Caliph Harun ar-
Rashid appointed Ibrahim ibn al-Aghlab as his governor. The Aghlabids dynasty effectively became independent of the Baghdad
caliphs, who continued to retain spiritual authority. The Aghlabid emirs took their custodianship of Libya seriously, repairing Roman
irrigation systems, restoring order and bringing a measure of prosperity to the region. By the beginning of the 15th century the
Libyan coast had minimal central authority and its harbours were havens for pirates. Habsburg Spain occupied Tripoli in 1510, but
the Spaniards were more concerned with controlling the port than with the inconveniences of administering a colony. Ferdinand V
took Tripoli and in 1528 gave it to the Knights of St John of Malta. In 1538 Tripoli was reconquered by a pirate king called Khair
ad-Din (known more evocatively as Barbarossa, or Red Beard) and the coast became renowned as the Barbary Coast. When the
Ottomans arrived to occupy Tripoli in 1551, they saw little reason to rein in the pirates, preferring instead to profit from the booty. It
would be more than two centuries before the pirates' control of the region was challenged. Under the Ottomans, the Meghreb was
divided into three provinces, Algiers, Tripoli and Tunis. After 1565, administrative authority in Tripoli was vested in a pasha
appointed by the sultan in Constantinople. The sultan provided the pasha with a corps of janissaries, which was in turn divided into a
number of companies under the command of a junior officer or bey. The janissaries quickly became the dominant force in Ottoman
Libya. In 1711, Ahmed Karamanli, an Ottoman cavalry officer, seized power and founded the Karamanli dynasty, which would last
124 years. In May 1801 Pasha Yusuf Karamanli demanded from the United States an increase in the tribute ($83,000) which that
government had paid since 1796 for the protection of their commerce from piracy. The demand was refused, an American naval
force blockaded Tripoli, and a desultory war dragged on until 3 June 1805. In 1835, the government of Sultan Mahmud II took
advantage of local disturbances to reassert their direct authority and held it until the final collapse of the Ottoman Empire. As
decentralized Ottoman power had resulted in the virtual independence of Egypt as well as Tripoli, the coast and desert lying
between them relapsed to anarchy, even after direct Ottoman control was resumed in Tripoli. Over a 75 year period the Ottoman
Turks provided 33 governors and Libya remained part of the empire-- although at times virtually autonomous-- until Italy invaded in
1911, as the Ottoman Empire was collapsing. The attempted Italian colonization of the Ottoman provinces of Tripolitania and
Cyrenaica was never wholly successful. On October 3, 1911, the Italians attacked Tripoli, claiming somewhat disingenuously to be
liberating Libya from Ottoman rule. Despite a major revolt by the Libyans, the Ottoman sultan ceded Libya to the Italians by signing
the 1912 Treaty of Lausanne. Tripoli was largely under Italian control by 1914, but both Cyrenaica and the Fezzan were home to
rebellions led by the Senussis. 150,000 Italians settled in Libya. In 1920 (25 October) the Italian government recognized Sheikh
Sidi Idris the hereditary head of the nomadic Senussi, with wide authority in Kufra and other oases, as Emir of Cyrenaica, a new
title extended by the British at the close of World War I. The emir would eventually become king of the free Libyan state. In 1944,
Idris returned from exile in Cairo but declined to resume permanent residence in Cyrenaica until the removal in 1947 of some
aspects of foreign control. Under the terms of the 1947 peace treaty with the Allies, Italy relinquished all claims to Libya. In July
1999 the Italian government offered a formal apology to Libya and it is reported that Italy agreed to pay USD $260 million as
compensation for the occupation. On November 21, 1949, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution stating that Libya should
become independent before January 1, 1952. Idris represented Libya in the subsequent UN negotiations. When Libya declared its
independence on December 24, 1951, it was the first country to achieve independence through the United Nations and one of the
first former European possessions in Africa to gain independence. Libya was proclaimed a constitutional and a hereditary monarchy
and Idris was proclaimed king. The discovery of significant oil reserves in 1959 and the subsequent income from petroleum sales
enabled what had been one of the world's poorest countries to become extremely wealthy. Although oil drastically improved Libya's
finances, popular resentment grew as wealth was increasingly concentrated in the hands of the elite. On September 1, 1969, a small
group of military officers led by then 28-year-old army officer Mu'ammar Abu Minyar al-Qadhafi staged a coup d'etat against King
Idris, who was exiled to Egypt. The new regime, headed by the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC), abolished the monarchy
and proclaimed the new Libyan Arab Republic. The new RCC's motto became "freedom, socialism, and unity." It pledged itself to
remedy "backwardness," take an active role in the Palestinian Arab cause, promote Arab unity, and encourage domestic policies
based on social justice, nonexploitation, and an equitable distribution of wealth. The new government negotiated the Americans to
evacuate the base from Libya. As a result US military forces was forced to leave Libya and close Wheelus Air Base. Qadhafi
rejected both Soviet Communism and Western capitalism and claimed that he was charting an independent course, portraying
himself as a champion of "oppressed peoples" and Third World nations seeking to assert their independence on the international
stage. In the 1970s, Libya claimed leadership of Arab and African revolutionary forces and sought active roles in international
organizations. In 1974, Libya and Tunisia briefly planned to merge and create the Arab Islamic Republic. Libyan military adventures
in Chad failed, e.g., the prolonged foray of Libyan troops into the Aozou Strip in northern Chad was finally repulsed in 1987, when
extensive US and French help to Chadian rebel forces and the government headed by former Defence Minister Hissan Habré finally
led to a Chadian victory in the so-called Toyota Wars. U.S.-Libyan relations quickly deteriorated following the inauguration of U.S.
President Ronald Reagan in January 1981. Libya was accused in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie,
Scotland, UN sanctions were imposed in 1992. UN Security Council resolutions (UNSCRs) passed in 1992 and 1993 obliged
Libya to fulfill requirements related to the Pan Am 103 bombing before sanctions could be lifted, leading to Libya's political and
economic isolation for most of the 1990s. The US rescinded Libya's designation as a state sponsor of terrorism in June 2006.After
several months of see-saw fighting, anti-QADHAFI forces in August 2011 captured the capital, Tripoli. In mid-September, the UN
General Assembly voted to recognize the TNC as the legitimate interim governing body of Libya. The TNC on 23 October officially
declared the country liberated following the defeat of the last remaining pro-QADHAFI stronghold and QADHAFI's death, and
plans to transition toward elections, the formation of a constitution, and a new government. General National Congress elections
were held on 07 July 2012 with the having been postponed from 19 June. The GNC was originally to be charged with appointing a
Constituent Assembly to draw up Libya's new constitution, but the National Transitional Council announced on 5 July that the
Assembly would instead be directly elected at a later date. Mohammed el-eMegarif was elected interim president 17 August 2012
and Mustafa A.G. Abushagur was elected prime Minister by the General National Congress on 13 September 2012. Ratification of
a new constitution and elections for President and the Legislative Assembly are slated for mid-2013.
Source: Wikipedia: History of Libya; Wikipedia: Libyan General National Congress Elections, 2012
Libya's economy is structured primarily around the nation's energy sector, which generates about 95% of export earnings, 80% of
GDP, and 99% of government income. Substantial revenue from the energy sector coupled with a small population give Libya one
of the highest per capita GDPs in Africa, but Tripoli largely has not used its significant financial resources to develop national
infrastructure or the economy, leaving many citizens poor. In the final five years of QADHAFI's rule, Libya made some progress on
economic reform as part of a broader campaign to reintegrate the country into the international fold. This effort picked up steam
after UN sanctions were lifted in September 2003 and after Libya announced in December 2003 that it would abandon programs
to build weapons of mass destruction. The process of lifting US unilateral sanctions began in the spring of 2004; all sanctions were
removed by June 2006, helping Libya attract greater foreign direct investment, especially in the energy and banking sectors. Libyan
oil and gas licensing rounds drew high international interest, but new rounds are unlikely to be successful until Libya establishes a
more permanent government and is able to offer more attractive financial terms on contracts and increase security. Libya faces a
long road ahead in liberalizing its primarily socialist economy, but the revolution has unleashed previously restrained entrepreneurial
activity and increased the potential for the evolution of a more market-based economy. The service and construction sectors, which
account for roughly 20% of GDP, expanded over the past five years and could become a larger share of GDP if Tripoli prioritizes
capital spending on development projects once political and security uncertainty subside. Climatic conditions and poor soils severely
limit agricultural output, and Libya imports about 80% of its food. Libya's primary agricultural water source is the Great Manmade
Source: CIA World Factbook (select Libya)
The politics of Libya are currently in a phase of transition.
As a result of the collapse of the Gaddafi government in August 2011 due to the Libyan civil war, Libya is under de facto
administration of the National Transitional Council (NTC). The NTC pledged to organize democratic elections by April 2012, and
expects Libya to develop into a constitutional democracy by 2013.
The transitional period is governed by the Constitutional Declaration issued on 3 August 2011.
The National Transitional Council is a body formed by anti-Gaddafi forces during the Libyan civil war. Its formation was
announced in the city of Benghazi on 27 February 2011 and its intended purpose is to act as the "political face of the revolution". In
some media outlets, it is referred to as the National Libyan Council or the Libyan National Council. On 5 March, the council issued
a statement in which it declared itself to be the "sole representative all over Libya".The council formed an interim governing body on
23 March. As of 20 October 100 countries declared full support to the council by severing all relations with Gaddafi's rule and
recognizing the National Transitional Council as the rightful representative of Libya.
On 7 July 2012, the Legislative body - the General National Congress - was elected. There are 2,501 candidates for the 200 seats
- 136 of which for political parties and 64 for independent candidates. About 300 candidates views were considered unnaceptable
and removed from candidates list, suspected of sympathizing with the defeated forces of the Jamahiriya. Accreditation centers have
also been organised in European cities with larger Libyan communities like Berlin and Paris, in order to allow Libyan nationals there
to cast their vote. Early results of the vote showed the National Forces Alliance (NFA) party as a front runner. The NFA is led by
The General National Congress will choose the members of the Constitutional Convention in mid-2013 followed by elections.
Source: Wikipedia: Politics of Libya
Dormant disputes include Libyan claims of about 32,000 sq km still reflected on its maps of southeastern Algeria and the FLN's
assertions of a claim to Chirac Pastures in southeastern Morocco; various Chadian rebels from the Aozou region reside in southern
Refugees (country of origin): 74,000 (conflict between pro-Qadhafi and anti Qadhafi forces; figure does not include displaced
third-country nationals) (2012)
|HUMAN RIGHTS STATEMENTS, ANALYSIS AND CRITIQUES
|2011 Human Rights Report: Libya
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices
May 25, 2012
At year’s end, a 38-day-old interim government began to exercise authority in Libya, formerly the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab
Jamahiriya. After eight months of civil war, ending with the ouster of the Qadhafi regime, construction of a republican form of
government began. The opposition leadership in the Transitional National Council (TNC), which was formed on February 27, exercised
executive authority prior to naming an interim government on November 23 and thereafter acted in a de facto legislative capacity as an
arm of the government engaged in transition planning. Adopted by the TNC on August 3, Libya’s Constitutional Declaration provides the
basis of governance and allows for the exercise of a full range of political, civil, and judicial rights, including Article 3, which safeguards
freedom of expression and assembly, and Article 8, the right to due process--rights that the Libyan people were systematically deprived
of during Qadhafi’s 42-year rule. While Qadhafi-era laws that did not contravene the declaration remained in force, the applicability of
former laws remained unclear at year’s end, due in large part to the absence of functioning courts. Although an indirect electoral system
existed on paper under Qadhafi, in practice his inner circle monopolized all positions of power and security forces reported to them.
During the conflict and in the brief period that followed until the end of the year, the TNC and later the interim government had yet to
establish full political or military control over the country. In the 10-week period after the TNC declared the country’s “liberation” on
October 23, few security forces reported to the interim authorities, while militias acted sometimes in concert with government directives
but did so more often autonomously.
Qadhafi’s fall ended an era of systematic, state-sanctioned human rights violations. Although human rights abuses did continue to occur,
most frequently in areas where the TNC had yet to exert influence over militias, the scope and extent of abuse in the country measurably
diminished following the end of the Qadhafi regime in October. The Qadhafi government’s immediate response to protests begun on
February 15 was to crack down on dissent, using excessive and violent force against civilians. Protests rapidly evolved into armed
clashes, escalating into a nationwide armed conflict. Qadhafi’s death on October 20 and the takeover of his last stronghold of Sirte ended
the conflict. While the transition led to a relatively free political environment--apart from hostility to real and perceived Qadhafi loyalists--
the new authorities lacked the capability to fully protect civil and judicial rights in practice.
During the year the most significant human rights problems stemmed from the Qadhafi regime’s denial of its citizens’ right to peacefully
change the government. While human rights violations were reportedly committed by both sides, Qadhafi’s government was responsible
for the bulk of abuses committed during the armed conflict. A legacy of decades of sustained oppression, corruption, and organizational
dysfunction challenged efforts by both the interim government and the TNC to enforce the rule of law. Continuing violence,
organizational dysfunction, and widespread corruption further degraded the human rights environment. Militias were largely responsible
for continued human rights abuses following the end of the war.
The Qadhafi regime carried out a deliberate policy of human rights abuse. The following other important governmental human rights
abuses and societal problems were reported: extrajudicial killings; excessive and indiscriminate use of force against antigovernment
protesters, civilians, and civilian facilities; disappearances; torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment,
including rape; poor conditions in frequently illegal detention and prison facilities; arbitrary arrest and detention; impunity; denial of fair
public trial; political prisoners and detainees; feeble judicial authority; arbitrary interference with privacy and home; use of excessive
force and other abuses in internal conflicts; restriction on humanitarian aid to civilians; limits on freedoms of speech, press, assembly,
and association; restrictions on freedom of movement; internally displaced persons (IDPs); lack of transparency and significant,
widespread corruption at all levels of government; constraints on international and nongovernmental organizations’ (NGOs)
investigations of alleged violations of human rights; discrimination against and societal abuses of women and ethnic and racial minorities,
including foreign workers; trafficking in persons; and limitations on labor rights in practice, including forced labor.
Impunity for abuses was a serious problem. Although revolutionary militias detained abusive Qadhafi-era officials, there was no
functioning judicial system to try them. Similarly, with the judiciary still not functioning, the interim government had not taken steps by
year’s end to prosecute opposition militia members and fighters who committed abuses during and after the conflict.
During the year opposition forces reportedly violated human rights and humanitarian norms. Militias and their supporters--which were
not fully under the control of the TNC or transitional government authority--committed unlawful killings, other physical violence, and
other abuses. Principal targets were actual or suspected detained Qadhafi soldiers or supporters, possible sub-Saharan African
mercenaries or dark-skinned Libyans, and former members of the security forces. Disappearances, illegal detentions, and imprisonment
of persons on political grounds occurred, as did looting and further violence. Vulnerable civilian populations, including ethnic minorities
and migrants, faced discrimination and violence during and after the conflict.
The lack of independent observers and communications disruptions, particularly in Western Libya, resulted in a heavy reliance on
secondary sources in the preparation of this report.
Click here to read more »
7 June 2011
Human Rights Council
Agenda items 2 and 4
Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the
High Commissioner and the Secretary-General Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention
Report of the High Commissioner under Human Rights
Council resolution S-15/1*
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
1. At its fifteenth Special Session, the Human Rights Council adopted resolution 15/1, entitled “Situation of human rights in the Libyan
Arab Jamahiriya.” Operative paragraph 13 of this resolution requested the High Commissioner to submit a follow-up report to the
Council at its seventeenth session, as well as to organize an interactive dialogue on the situation of human rights in the Libyan Arab
Jamahiriya during the same session. The present report is submitted pursuant to this request.
II. Context and recent developments
5. Demonstrations sparked in Libya in mid-February 2011, when thousands of Libyans protested against Libyan leader Colonel
Moammar Qadhafi. On 22 February, Colonel Qadhafi announced on Libyan National Television that he would lead ‘millions to purge
Libya inch by inch, house by house, household by household, alley by alley, and individual by individual until I purify this land.’ He
blamed foreigners for the problems and called the protestors “rats” who needed to be executed.
IV. Allegations of violations of international human rights and
international humanitarian law
22. After the surge in protests in mid-February 2011, when thousands of peaceful demonstrators called for economic, social and
democratic reforms, Libyan forces reportedly sealed off neighbourhoods and used live ammunition against protesters. Within a week, the
uprising had intensified and spread across the country. The NTC was reportedly established on 2 March, led by Mustafa Abdul Jalil, and
the situation quickly escalated into armed conflict, with armed opposition forces achieving control over a number of coastal cities in the
east, followed by Government counter-offensives. Cities particularly affected by the conflict include include Ajdabiya, Brega, Benghazi,
Bin Jawad, Misrata, Ras Lanuf, and Az-Zawiyah.
23. On the basis of Security Council Resolution 1973 (2011), international military action was taken against Libyan military forces. A
counter-offensive by pro-Qadhafi forces reversed gains of the armed opposition, as Government forces recaptured several key towns
mid-March, including Ras Lanuf, Zawiya, and Brega. Military operations remained marked by see-sawing ground action along the coastal
strip and major highways, with the exception of the protracted siege of Misrata by Government troops.
24. Since the beginning of the crisis, OHCHR has received information pertaining to the following major categories of human rights
violations (i) summary executions, torture and ill-treatment, including sexual violence, arbitrary detentions and enforced disappearances,
(ii) violence against children, and (iii) civilian casualties.
Click here to read more »
Freedom House Statement on the Events in Libya and Egypt
Sep 12 2012 - 12:21pm
Freedom House today released the following statement regarding the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which resulted in
the death of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, as well as yesterday’s attack on the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt:
“Freedom House was shocked and saddened to learn of the terrorist attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which claimed the
life of Ambassador Chris Stevens and several other employees, and of the mob assault on the US Embassy in Cairo. We deeply deplore
these attacks and note that nothing can justify such violence. While we do not approve of deliberate attempts to offend the strongly held
convictions of religious believers, we support the right to peaceful freedom of expression for all. The attacks underscore the need for
full transitions to democracy in both Libya and Egypt, in which rule of law and respect for non-violent resolution of differences can
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the
world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.
Click here to read more »
Libya: Further information: Detained journalist’s health at risk: Amara Abdalla al-Khatabi
11 March 2013
Libyan newspaper editor Amara Abdalla al-Khatabi, who has been detained incommunicado since 19 December, began a hunger strike on
28 February 2013. His health is deteriorating. The Minister of Justice has called for him to be released on bail.
Amara Abdalla al-Khatabi, 67, has been on hunger strike since 28 February in protest against his arrest and continued detention in Hudba
Prison in Libya’s capital, Tripoli. He is believed to have been arrested in relation to an article he published alleging corruption within the
judiciary. He appeared in court on 11 March but his health was so poor that he had to be supported into the court, and his lawyer has
claimed that he lost consciousness during the hearing. Amara Abdalla al-Khatabi has also decided to stop speaking until he is released. His
lawyer has asked that Amara Abdalla al-Khatabi be released on bail or transferred to a hospital but both requests have been denied.
The trial was postponed until 18 March at the request of Amara Abdalla al-Khatabi’s lawyer, after he was granted permission by the
judge to access his client’s files and visit him in prison in the next few days. He expressed concern to Amnesty International that his
access to both the files and his client might be made more difficult, in order to hinder his work on the case.
According to Libyan media, the Minister of Justice, Salah Marghani, told a press conference on 4 March that Amara Abdalla al-khatabi
should be released on bail, and stressed the need to respect press freedom and freedom of expression.
Click here to read more »
Why have we forgotten about Libya?
March 25, 2013
All civilians deserve protection, but some civilians deserve more protection than others. Or so it seems in Libya today.
Two years ago, the U.N. Security Council authorized a military operation by NATO with a mandate to protect civilians who were under
attack by Moammar Gadhafi’s forces. That operation led to Gadhafi’s fall.
Today, long after the fighting has stopped, those who are rightly or wrongly perceived to have supported Gadhafi are under threat.
Thousands of women and children have been displaced from their homes and living in camps, often harassed. Men have been detained,
tortured and killed. They need protection, but the nations that intervened two years ago have done virtually nothing on their behalf.
The most pressing case involves the former residents of the town of Tawergha, which had a pre-war population of about 42,000.
Tawerghans formerly enjoyed Gadhafi’s financial and political support, and the town became a military staging ground during the 2011
war. Many fighting age men from Tawergha joined Gadhafi’s fight.
Some of these men allegedly committed atrocities during the war in the nearby city of Misrata, which suffered from a brutal, two month
siege in which hundreds of civilians died. Misratans say that Tawerghan fighters committed killings and rapes in their city and that now
it is time to take revenge.
And revenge is what the anti-Gadhafi militias of Misrata have been taking, forcing all Tawerghans from their town. Spread across Libya,
Tawerghans have been hunted down, detained, tortured and killed. Satellite imagery analyzed by Human Rights Watch corroborates what
we saw on the ground: the systematic destruction of the town’s residential, commercial and industrial structures after the fighting had
stopped in an apparent attempt to prevent returns.
The Misratans demand justice for the crimes committed against them, and this is their due. But justice is not served by punishing an
entire community for crimes committed by some of its members – that is collective punishment.
But while the U.N. Security Council and its powerful members jumped to protect Libyan civilians when Gadhafi was the enemy, they
have not taken serious action against the revenge attacks that Tawerghans and other displaced communities in Libya are suffering from
today – about 60,000 people in all, according to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.
In its resolution on Libya this month, the Security Council rightly expressed concern about reprisals, torture and executions, but failed to
mention the plight of Tawerghans. Even the U.N. mission in Libya, watching developments up close, has not made the abuses against
Tawerghans and other allegedly “pro-Gadhafi” communities a central theme.
Click here to read more »
H.E. Mr. Mohamed Yousef El-Magariaf, President
27 September 2012
MOHAMED YOUSEF EL-MAGARIAF, President of the General National Congress of Libya, apologized for the crimes carried out by
the despot who had ruled his country for 42 years, saying Libyans were determined to build a State of peace, security, good relations
with their neighbours and respect for international obligations and human rights.
Hailing the late United States Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, as the “voice of reason and conscience” and “the messenger of
peace”, he expressed his deep sadness over the diplomat’s assassination, vowing that the tragedy would strengthen Libya’s solidarity and
unity around the aspirations and goals that he had stood for. “We will defeat the schemes of retarded terrorists who do not represent
Libya, nor represent Islam”, he stressed, assuring the United States that Libya would pursue the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
The Government would spare no effort to bolster protection for diplomatic and consular missions, he added.
The mass demonstrations held in Benghazi and other Libyan cities to condemn that abominable crime illustrated the Libyan people’s
rejection of violence and radicalism, he continued, also condemning the denigration campaigns against Islam and the Prophet
Muhammad. Since its February 2011 revolution, Libya had witnessed significant shifts towards ending social injustice and political
tyranny, and embracing democracy. In the past few months, it had begun rebuilding State institutions and elected a General National
Congress, which would begin drafting a permanent constitution and form the first interim Government following democratic, transparent
elections. Political parties had emerged for the first time since independence, he said.
Still, he said, the new Libya was still grappling with serious challenges and security threats caused by illegal activities by the late
Muammar Qadhafi’s sons and other members of his regime, as well as by transnational organized crime, terrorism, drug smuggling and
human trafficking. To address those ills, Libya had hosted the Regional Ministerial Conference on Border Security in March, which had
adopted the Tripoli Action Plan for Border Cooperation. He called on all States to help Libya recover State funds looted by the Qadhafi
regime to finance terrorism abroad, and in the fight against corruption.
He said Libya was keen to respect all global accords on disarmament, recalling that in November 2011, the Government had quickly
notified the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons about the presence of additional stocks left by the former regime.
Libya continued to cooperate with the IAEA, and called for efforts to expedite the formation of a legally binding agreement to ensure the
security of non-nuclear States. It supported a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East, and called on all States to pressure Israel to
commit to that goal. Libya also urged Iran to be more flexible and cooperative with IAEA. It called for urgent action to end Israeli
aggression against the Palestinians, for Israel’s withdrawal from the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and for an independent State of
Palestine. The Security Council should act promptly to end the violence in Syria while protecting and ensuring that the legitimate
demands of the Syrian people were met. He urged the relevant parties to show the political will for genuine United Nations, particularly
the Council, in which Africa needed fair representation.
Click here to read more »
TRANSLATED FROM ARABIC BY GOOGLE TRANSLATE
Libya officially confirmed the death of a prominent Libyan dissident of the former regime Mansour Kikhia
Tripoli UBI: Libya officially announced, Saturday, they found the remains of Mansour Kikhia a opponents of the former regime, after
more than 22 years on the kidnapping of Egypt and killed at the hands of devices regime of the late Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.
The Libyan Foreign Ministry said in a statement, she will hold a memorial service for Kikhia in early December / December and his body
was taken to his native city of Benghazi for burial. She that tyranny was kidnapped system exhibits Mansour Rashid Kikhia, then kill him
and hid his body indicates that he 'had feared more dead than alive had feared.'
The statement, Kikhia is an example of a Libyan citizen jealous, who gave his life to the service of his country and his people.
Noteworthy that Mahmoud Kikhia late brother, was revealed in the last few days that the body found recently in one of the houses in the
capital Tripoli belonging to his brother Mansour Libyan dissident who was kidnapped by organs of the former regime of Egypt 1991.
It was believed that this body which approved the intelligence chief of the former regime who is currently detained in Libya Abdullah
Sanusi presence in that house, dating back to Musa al-Sadr Chairman Higher Islamic Shiite Council in Lebanon, who says the
information published that disappeared with his two companions in Libya in a month August 1978.
The Mansour Kikhia distinguished jurist and defender of the rights of prisoners in the early seventies and the Foreign Ministry during the
reign of Gaddafi is that he was exercising his full independence and keeps his views on most issues.
Click here to read more »
Head of Libya's Rights Committee Resigns Citing Death Threats
The chairman of Libya’s parliamentary human-rights committee has resigned saying militias threatened to kill him after he criticised their
unchecked power and flagrant violations of the law.
Hassan El Amin has been reported saying from London that many of the militias are totally out of control, adding that the country is full
of armed men, many of them hanging onto their guns because they still feel the revolution is not safe.
Mr. El Amin, who spent 28 years in exile at the time of Gaddafi's rule and was elected to parliament in July, said that the threats,
delivered to him in phone calls and in warnings scrawled on the walls of his hometown Misurata, in the western part of Libya followed
his demands that families be allowed to visit their relatives in prison.
“I cannot carry out my job under these circumstances … The balance of power belongs to the militias and hooligans on the streets, as
many of the militias have refused to give up their weapons after the 2011 Revolution.
The United Nations Security Council passed a resolution last week in which it expressed concern about reports of human-rights
violations and abuses in detention centres across Libya.
Mr. El Amin, a longtime critic of the militias, said the “last straw” for him was when they attacked the General National Congress, in
Tripoli earlier this month, and when gunmen also fired on the armoured car of GNCongress president Mohamed al-Magharief.
He said that through his resignation he wanted to send a message to the Libyan parliament to “get its act together” and take on the
He said. “The people are fed up and there is a lot of awareness that something needs to be done.”
Click here to read more>>
|Click map for
|Click flag for Country
Interim President since 17 August 2012
Current situation: Libya is a transit and destination country for men and women from sub-Saharan Africa and Asia trafficked for
the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation
Tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - - Libya is on the Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to
address trafficking in persons in 2007 when compared to 2006, particularly in the area of investigating and prosecuting trafficking
offenses; Libya did not publicly release any data on investigations or punishment of any trafficking offenses (2008)