Chairman of the UN Fact-Finding Mission to Libya, Mohamed Auajjar announced that the mission has documented 27 illegal detention centers across the country.
In his briefing to the United Nations in Geneva, Auajjar said that the mission confirmed that children were recruited to participate in hostilities and war in Libya.
In the city of Tarhuna, there has been “widespread and systematic perpetration of forced disappearances, extermination, murder, torture, and imprisonment amounting to crimes against humanity. These were committed by Al Kani (Kaniyat) militias,’’ he said.
“We will present a list of suspects for whom there is criminal evidence of committing crimes against humanity in Tarhuna,” Auajjar added. He stressed that those responsible for human rights violations and war crimes in Libya must be held accountable.
He noted that “justice and lasting peace in Libya must be enforced, and those responsible for heinous crimes be prosecuted.” As well as affirming the need to achieve peace in Libya through free, fair, and transparent elections.
Libya’s representative at the UN Human Rights Council, Lamia Abu Sidra said that the mission should complete its work, without delay.
Abu Sidra explained that Libya is submitting a draft resolution through the African Union, to extend the mission’s mandate for an additional nine months.
Last week, the mission released a new report in which it confirmed previous reports highlighting serious crimes against humanity in Libya. It specified that migrant women are often forced to suffer some of the most serious abuses.
The report states that “the mission has reasonable grounds to believe that the crimes against humanity; of murder, torture, detention, rape, enforced disappearance, and other inhumane acts have been committed in various places of detention in Libya since 2016”.
According to the report, authorities, human traffickers, and other agents regularly detain migrants in Libya. As the country has become an important hub for tens of thousands of people – mainly from sub-Saharan Africa – trying to reach Europe. Officials, however, continue to deny this before the world.
The investigators who drew up the report after making numerous trips to Libya detailed “acts of murder, torture, rape and other inhumane acts” to which migrants held in captivity are subjected. The report underlines the common use of “sexual violence at the hands of traffickers, often with the aim of extorting money from families”.
“The mission has also documented cases of rape in places of detention or imprisonment where migrant women are forced to have sex to survive, in exchange for food or other essential goods,” the document said.