Libya: UN panel encouraged by commitment to tackle rights abuses

Philippe Kirsch

20 December 2011 – A three-member panel tasked by the United Nations with probing human rights violations committed during the Libyan conflict said today it is encouraged by the Government’s commitment and initial steps taken to address the abuses that occurred.

The Commission of Inquiry on Libya was set up by the UN Human Rights Council in February to probe serious violations committed by all parties in the North African nation, where pro-Government forces and rebels had engaged in fighting for months after a pro-democracy movement emerged at the start of the year.

“We were pleased to receive assurances of the Government’s continued commitment to human rights, and we are encouraged by the initiaThe commission will return to Libya next month to continue its investigations in Ajdabiya, Benghazi, Bani Walid, Brega, Misratah, Nalut, Sirte, Yefren and Zintan.l steps the Government is taking to address the human rights violations that occurred during the recent conflict,” said Judge Philippe Kirsch, a former president of the International Criminal Court (ICC), who serves as the commission’s chairperson.

The team has just concluded the first part of its investigations, having visited the capital, Tripoli, from 30 November to 16 December.

During the visit, the panel met with the Chairman of the National Transitional Council (NTC) and other senior officials in the Government, as well as with representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and interviewed detainees at Matiga detention facility.

The panel and investigators also visited a site where alleged extrajudicial killings were committed by forces loyal to former leader Muammar al-Qadhafi in Tripoli and received testimony about other serious violations.

The commission will return to Libya next month to continue its investigations in Ajdabiya, Benghazi, Bani Walid, Brega, Misratah, Nalut, Sirte, Yefren and Zintan.

The panel, which also comprises Egyptian jurist and war crimes expert Cherif M. Bassiouni and Jordanian-Palestinian lawyer Asma Khader, is scheduled to present its final report to the Geneva-based Council in March 2012.

In a report presented in June, the commission said that both Government forces and the opposition have committed war crimes during the weeks of fighting following the uprising.


News Tracker: past stories on this issue

UN panel urges Libya to probe detainee violations, commit to human rights

Related Stories





In-depth Interviews