Pillay: Extreme Concern Regarding Ill-Treatment of Detainees in Libya, Including Large Number of Sub-Saharan Africans

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay addressed the UN Security Council on 25 January regarding the situation in Libya.  Pillay expressed extreme concern regarding the conditions of detention in Libya faced by thousands of detainees, including a large number of Sub-Saharan African nationals, and called for all detention centres to be brought under the control of the Ministry of Justice and the General Prosecutor’s Office.

Amnesty International and MSF have both just released additional reports documenting ongoing torture of detainees in Libya.

Excerpts from Pillay’s statement:

“The Interim Government still does not exercise effective control over the revolutionary brigades and this has human rights repercussions in a number of areas. …

A related area that I am extremely concerned about is the conditions of detention and treatment of detainees held by various revolutionary brigades. The ICRC visited over 8,500 detainees in approximately 60 places of detention between March and December 2011. The majority of detainees are accused of being Gaddafi loyalists and include a large number of sub-Saharan African nationals. The lack of oversight by the central authorities creates an environment conducive to torture and ill-treatment. My staff have received alarming reports that this is happening in places of detention that they have visited.

It is therefore urgent that all detention centres are brought under the control of the Ministry of Justice and the General Prosecutor’s Office. Moreover, a structure and process for judicial screening of detainees should be put in place immediately so that those detainees held without any legal basis can be released while others receive a fair trial. … However, detainees continue to be held in unacceptable circumstances outside any legal framework or the protection of the state….”

Click here for Pillay’s Statement.

Click here for AI Statement.

Click here for MSF Statement.

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Filed under Libya, News, OHCHR, Reports, Statements

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