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UN Condemns Libya’s Political Elite for Human Rights Violations



The UN accuses Libya’s political leaders of violating human rights to maintain power, exacerbating the nation’s crisis and suffering. Read more about the stinging rebuke from Volker Türk. 

The UN’s top human rights official has issued a damning report on Libya’s political leaders, accusing them of crushing dissent to maintain power. Volker Türk, the UN high commissioner for human rights, condemned the ruling elite’s methods of silencing opponents and perpetuating a stagnant political process. This has left Libyans grappling with poverty and misery, as hopes for stability and prosperity remain unmet.

Türk’s report, covering the last 12 months, highlights numerous abuses, including arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances, and extrajudicial killings. He verified at least 60 cases of arbitrary detention, emphasizing the dire consequences of unchecked power and lack of accountability. These violations undermine efforts to heal Libya’s fractured society and fuel ongoing conflict.

Libya remains divided between two rival administrations, with no elections since 2014. The Tripoli-based Government of National Unity and the Government of National Stability in the east continue to vie for control. Meanwhile, migrants and refugees suffer severe abuses, including trafficking, torture, forced labor, and even death.

Türk called for investigations into these crimes and urged Libya to restore the rule of law, protect freedoms, and ensure justice. However, Libya’s justice minister contested the report’s findings, claiming efforts to uphold human rights were not adequately represented.

The international community must pressure Libyan authorities to uphold human rights, ensuring accountability and justice for all victims. Without such measures, Libya’s democratic transition remains in jeopardy, perpetuating a climate of fear and impunity.

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