The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) expressed concern about the “continuing crackdown on civic space and arbitrary detentions”, which it says “create a climate of fear across Libya”.
In a statement released to commemorate International Human Rights Day, UNSMIL said that it documented, over the last nine months, “dozens of cases of arbitrary arrests and detention of men, women and children by security actors operating throughout Libya.”
“These detentions violate Libya’s national laws and international obligations and are politically motivated with all individuals held for their actual or perceived political affiliation,” UN said.
The Head of UNSMIL, Abdoulaye Bathily, pointed out that “members of political parties, academics, and activists continue to languish in detention in Tripoli, Benghazi, and Sirte without access to justice.”
“They must be immediately and unconditionally released,” he demanded.
“Now more than ever we need to work together to safeguard the principles enshrined in the Universal Declaration,” he said, adding that “Libyan civil society actors and human rights defenders – who embody these very values – must be supported, protected and empowered to carry out their work in safety and dignity”.
“Stifling their work, silencing them, and fostering a climate of fear undermines the foundations required for Libya’s democratic transition, emboldens the spoilers, and enables security actors in particular to perpetrate human rights violations with impunity. This must end”, said Bathily.