LIBYA: Council holds dialogue with Commission of Inquiry

Summary: The Council held an interactive dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry on Libya after its Chairperson presented a report on the situation of human rights in that country.

The Human Rights Council this afternoon held an interactive dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry on Libya after its Chairperson presented a report on the situation of human rights in that country.

Philippe Kirsch, Chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry to investigate all alleged violations of international human rights law in Libya, said the Commission had confirmed that the Qadhafi forces had committed crimes against humanity and war crimes. The Commission had also concluded that war crimes and crimes against humanity had been committed by thuwar, brigades of fighters that rose up against the regime, and that violations of international human rights law continued to occur in a climate of impunity. It was imperative that the Libyan authorities established appropriate mechanisms to address the crimes and violations committed in the country and to ensure the perpetrators did not escape justice.

The Commission urgently called for the establishment of an independent judiciary, to secure the sites of the most serious crimes for their evidentiary value and to train judicial police, prison and other officials in international human rights standards.

Libya's response

Libya, speaking as the concerned country, said the competent authorities of Libya had afforded the High Commissioner and the Commission of Inquiry full support and access, and had responded positively to all requests. The Government would hold every person accountable for their crimes and the National Transitional Council had put human rights at the top of their priorities. Libya repeated its request for countries who hosted members of the old regime to cooperate and extradite these individuals. Libya also asked concerned parties to lift the freeze on its assets, for the country required resources to continue its transition.

States'responses

During the interactive dialogue speakers said that the current situation in Libya presented huge challenges to the promotion and protection of human rights and the country needed the support of the Council not only to guarantee credible investigations of violations but to consolidate the rule of law in the country. There was concern about the failure to hold thuwar accountable and for the continuing breaches of international human rights law in a climate of impunity.

Other speakers were encouraged by the Government's commitment to human rights and the positive steps taken to establish mechanisms for accountability. Some speakers welcomed the Commission's conclusions that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization had not deliberately targeted civilians. Others said that serious human rights violations had been committed during this North Atlantic Treaty Organization campaign and that the mandate to protect the civilian population had been a pretext to overthrow the Government. The frozen assets of Libya should be released and speakers said it was vital that the international community redouble its efforts to support the new Government in its transition to democracy with urgent assistance at administrative, law enforcement, and judicial levels.

In concluding remarks, Philippe Kirsch said that he welcomed the commitment of Libya to hold perpetrators of crimes and violations responsible and that the Government would oppose discrimination on any ground. The Commission recommended that the Council address the situation of human rights in Libya in a more substantive and sustained manner than through a Commission. Mr. Kirsch stressed that the restoration of a judicial system was a pre-requisite for the implementation of a number of other recommendations aimed at the Government.

pdf: http://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=11940&L...

Please note that these reports are hosted by CRIN as a resource for Child Rights campaigners, researchers and other interested parties. Unless otherwise stated, they are not the work of CRIN and their inclusion in our database does not necessarily signify endorsement or agreement with their content by CRIN.