Thousands remain in secret Libya prisons: UN

Phantom Report Notes;

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973-demands the immediate establishment of a ceasefire and a complete end to violence and all attacks against, and abuses of, civilians


About 4 000 people are still being held in militia detention centers in Libya, often in secret and many are tortured, a UN envoy said on Thursday.

Ian Martin, head of the UN mission to Libya, said good progress was being made toward holding the country’s first democratic election, but militia prisons were one of a number of “serious obstacles” to establishing the rule of law.

“Cases of mistreatment and torture of detainees continue,” Martin told the UN Security Council. The UN mission has raised “deep concern” over the deaths in April of three people at a detention center in Misrata which comes under government authority.

Martin said there was “credible information” that the deaths were caused by torture and that at least seven other people had been tortured at the same prison.

The head of the UN Support Mission in Libya, or UNSMIL, said there had also been allegations of torture at prisons in Tripoli, Zawiya and Zintan.

The UN said in October that 7 000 prisoners were held by the revolutionary brigades which led the fight to overthrown Moamer Kadhafi last year.

“Perhaps around 4 000” remain in formal and secret prisons around the country where a transitional government is slowly getting a grip on power, Martin said.

The justice ministry now has 31 detention facilities with about 3 000 inmates, he said. But control of many of these is shared with the revolutionary militias which have retained significant powers.

“Addressing these practices should be a top government priority in pursuit of a new culture of human rights and the rule of law,” said Martin. Kadhafi’s government was notorious for rights abuses.

Read More: IOL

Image: LA Times

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