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Human rights organizations urge UN to renew Libya Fact-Finding Mission’s mandate

Libyan, regional and international human rights organizations strongly urged the Libyan government to ensure the renewal of the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on Libya at the 48th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in September 2021.

Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Lawyers for Justice in Libya, Libyan Crimes Watch, and other organizations welcomed the establishment of the Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) in June 2020 as a long overdue and necessary step to address rampant impunity in Libya.

“However, we are concerned that UN budgetary constraints and difficulties related to the Covid pandemic have severely hampered the FFM’s ability to fulfill its mandate – that is, to investigate violations and abuses of international human rights law and violations of international humanitarian law committed since 2016, and preserve evidence to ensure that perpetrators be held accountable.” They said in a statement on Wednesday.

They indicated that ongoing Covid-19-related movement restrictions will continue to constrain the FFM’s investigative capacity throughout 2021, including its ability to conduct work in Libya, reinforcing the need to extend its mandate beyond September 2021.

They added that the FFM’s renewal is of vital importance to address the current human rights crisis in Libya – as the annex to this letter outlines – by promoting accountability, providing victims of crimes under international law an opportunity to have their voices heard, and addressing the prevailing climate of impunity.

The statement said that since 2011, Libya’s national justice system has been unable, and largely unwilling, to effectively investigate grave human rights violations and abuses, including against human rights defenders, activists and other civilians, or to hold perpetrators accountable.

It also indicated that strong international accountability mechanisms with meaningful and equal participation of women and other marginalized groups continue to be necessary to uphold victims’ rights to access justice and an effective remedy, including reparations.

“Respect for human rights and the establishment of pathways for accountability, including international investigative mechanisms such as the FFM, are key elements for restoring the rule of law during Libya’s transition.” The statement further added.

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