By Sami Zaptia.
London, 18 March 2016:
For acts that violate applicable international human . . .[restrict]rights law or international humanitarian law or acts that constitute human rights abuses, a UN report says that violators in Libya ‘’act with total impunity’’.
The conclusion was reached in the 215-page final report of the UN Panel of Experts on Libya to the President of the Security Council released early this week.
The report names a number of prominent Libyan militia leaders in Tripoli, including Ghenaiwa, Haitham Tajouri and Abdelrauf Kara head of Rada (Special Deterrence Force SDF).
The report says that ‘’in the vacuum that has developed, violators of human rights and other criminals act with total impunity, given that armed groups control the security sector and the judiciary barely functions’’.
‘’The ICC has expressed its readiness to open new investigations, but its efforts appear to be hampered by security and budgetary constraints. Furthermore, the Security Council has adopted no new targeted sanctions since 2011’’.
On arbitrary detention and torture, the report said that it ‘’continued its investigations into armed group control over detention facilities. Abuses are widespread in Libyan prisons, mirroring former regime practices, combined with a lack of resources and professionalism and a vindictive attitude on the part of the guards’’.
‘’Incidents include beatings, torture, lack of access to basic sanitation, overpopulation and the denial of family visits. Cases of unlawful detention are rife. Most detainees have not been brought before a judge; others have remained in detention even after receiving a release order. A significant percentage have been detained since 2011’’.
‘’The main reasons for their detention appear to be extortion, revenge and forced confession. The abusive behaviour of armed groups and security forces in control of detention centres should be addressed as a matter of priority by the Government of National Accord through reforms that include vetting of guards’’.
The report says it ‘’has received a wide range of testimony from victims, their relatives, human rights activists and government officials, together with video and photographic evidence’’ which has served as the basis for the report’s findings
On specific cases, the report said that in Western Libya ‘’Abdulaziz al-Bakshi of the Ayn Zarah prison is involved in cases of torture, including of female detainees. Muhammad al-Na‘ami has been in charge of the prison for four years. Severe ill-treatment continues. Similar human rights violations have also been perpetrated in the Ruwaymi prison in Ayn Zarah’’.
‘’Haytham al-Tajuri created a private detention centre in Tajura’, Mazara‘at al-Na‘am, where he detained former regime officials and sympathizers. He extorted large sums of money from visitors. During Operation Fajr operations in July 2014, 12 former regime officials disappeared from his facility. His claim that he had handed them over to their families was denied to government sources. His camp was bombed by the air force in April 2015’’.
‘’An armed group commander, Abdulghani Kikli (Ghenewa), controls a detention facility in the Abu Salim area of Tripoli. A specific room is used for torture. Several so-called “inmates” have ended up in nearby hospitals with severe injuries. There have been several reports of torture at the Daman and Hufrah prisons in Tajura’. The latter was controlled by a local militia leader allied to LNA, Abdullah al-Sassi, who was killed in late 2014’’.
‘’The family-run Taminah facility remains the most infamous prison in Misratah. The head of the family, Isa Ben Isa Lasfar al-Sarkasi, was repeatedly reported as being responsible for torture and other abuses. The case of Jawiyyah in Misratah is also of concern; ill-treatment and physical punishment are condoned by the prison administration’’.
‘’In Zawiyah, repeated cases of torture and extortion were reported in the prisons of Selaa, Jazeera and Jadayam. The Hadbah prison is where the flawed trial of 37 prominent supporters of the former regime was held. The verdict of 28 July 2015, in which nine of the defendants were sentenced to death, met with international condemnation. The prison is relatively well equipped, but serious abuses occur, as confirmed by video footage released on 2 August 2015 showing supervision by the prison manager, Salih Hadiyah Abdulsalam al-Daiki, of the torture of inmates, including Saadi Qadhafi.
‘’There are also abuses at the Mitiga prison, which is controlled by the Special Deterrence Force of Abdulra’uf Kara. In one case, a former prisoner reported systematic beatings and extortion of detainees under the supervision of the commander, Abdulsalam Ben Sha‘ban. Ill-treatment of migrants was widely reported in several locations, including official detention centres, notably in western Libya. Migrants interviewed by the Panel also reported having been tortured and extorted by armed groups that they were unable to identify’’. [/restrict]