UNSMIL condemns destruction of Sufi shrine in Sirte

By Sami Zaptia.

London, 6 February 2020:

UNSMIL today condemned yesterday’s destruction of the Zawit Bin Issa, Sufi Islamic shrine in the city of Sirte and the reported arrest of a number of Sufis in the city.

UNSMIL noted that the incidents appear to violate the right to freedom of religion or belief and the right not to be subjected to arbitrary arrest and detention.

It also stated that the destruction of religious shrines is also prohibited by international humanitarian law, and intentional attacks on religious monuments constitute war crimes. It called on the authorities, in control of the city of Sirte, to investigate and bring the perpetrators to justice.

It will be noted that Sirte is currently under the control of pro Khalifa Hafter forces and specifically under the command of his allies the Salafi-Madkhali 604 brigade. The destruction of Sufi shrines in Libya became common after 2012.

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