Amnesty International, Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS), Danish Institute Against Torture (DIGNITY), Defender Center for Human Rights (DCHR), Human Rights Watch (HRW), International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), Lawyers for Justice in Libya (LFJL), Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), and World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) wrote a joint letter to draw UN Human Rights Council's (HRC) attention to the critical need to establish a strong, independent follow-up accountability mechanism to continue documenting and reporting on the human rights and impunity crisis in Libya and monitoring the implementation of the Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) recommendations.
The nine signatories reminded the HRC that in July 2022, it adopted resolution 50/23 extending the mandate of the United Nations (UN) Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Libya (FFM) “for a final, non-extendable period of nine months, to present its concluding recommendations” at the HRC’s upcoming 52nd Session.
They said that throughout its mandate, the FFM has documented grave and widespread human rights violations and abuses, and crimes under international law, committed in Libya by all parties since 2016. They also indicated that Human rights conditions in Libya today remain precarious as systematic abuses carried out by militias, armed groups and the authorities remain rampant, and impunity for past abuses continues. Internationally banned landmines and other unexploded ordnance abandoned since the 2011 conflict continue to cause substantial civilian harm and displacement.
"To date, no commanders or Libyan or foreign fighters have been held to account for their involvement in crimes under international law and other serious violations or abuses, such as extrajudicial executions and other unlawful killings, indiscriminate attacks, arbitrary detentions, torture and the use of antipersonnel mines, including during the 2019-2020 Tripoli armed conflict." The organizations added.
They stressed that despite continued promises from state authorities to prioritize accountability, the reality remains that national institutions including the judiciary remain dysfunctional, often unable or unwilling to hold those suspected of serious crimes to account, adding that failure to do so would send a dangerous message to perpetrators that they can continue to commit serious crimes under international law with impunity. They also indicated that they stand ready to assist with these efforts in any way they can.