Libya: joint statement on UN investigation mission and need for accountability

The ICJ today joined other NGOs in an oral statement to the UN Human Rights Council on the findings of the report of the OHCHR investigation mission on Libya.

It includes that violations of international law taking place throughout Libya “may amount to war crimes and other international crimes under international law.”

The statement continued as follows:

All sides to the conflict in Libya continue to perpetrate grave human rights violations and abuses. As highlighted by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, these violations continue to take place with “complete impunity” amid the collapse of the domestic justice system.

Unless genuine accountability is provided for these ongoing crimes the cycle of violence in Libya will continue, and the peace process will likely become no more than a well-intentioned piece of paper.

In this context, this Council has a duty to remain seized of the human rights situation in Libya, ensure continued monitoring of the situation and act to strengthen international accountability for crimes committed in Libya if the national system remains incapable of fulfilling this role. We are deeply concerned that the current resolution before this Council falls short of that standard.

Additionally, all UN member states should ensure that the International Criminal Court has the capacity to fulfill the mandate provided to it by the Security Council and begin fully fledged investigations into past and ongoing crimes committed in Libya.

As highlighted by civil society in a letter to this Council: “It is critical that all parties to the conflict are put on notice that their actions are being monitored and that accountability for serious crimes is a real prospect rather than an empty threat. Failure to do so will likely embolden those committing violations of international human rights and humanitarian law and will reinforce the endless cycle of impunity” in Libya.

The statement was on behalf of Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, CIVICUS, Human Rights Watch, International Commission of Jurists, FIDH, and OMCT.

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