News / Middle East

Rights Group: Wave of Political Assassinations Paralyzes Libya

Rights Group Says Political Assassinations Worsening in Libyai
X
August 09, 2013 1:04 AM
U.S.-based Human Rights Watch says Libya's post-revolution unrest has taken an ominous turn with militants carrying out a targeted political killing for the first time. As VOA's Michael Lipin reports, analysts say the broadening series of assassinations highlights Libya's need for Western support as it struggles to avoid becoming a failed state.
Rights Group Says Political Assassinations Worsening in Libya - related video report by Michael Lipin
Selah Hennessy
Human Rights Watch [HRW] says more than 50 people have died in a broadening wave of apparent political assassinations in the cities of Benghazi and Derna in volatile eastern Libya. Analysts say the state has been unable to reign in the violence that has taken place during the two years since Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi was ousted in 2011.

The rights group said two of those killed were judges and 44 were serving members of the security forces. Most held positions in the Gadhafi government and at least six were high-ranking officers during his leadership.

Hanan Salah, a Libya researcher at Human Rights Watch, said, “In none of these cases have the law enforcement agents, the criminal investigations department or the police been able to conclude any of these investigations.”

People interviewed by HRW said law enforcement agents have not investigated at crime scenes, summoned potential witnesses, or provided information to the families about their investigations.

Libyan officials could not be reached for comment. Law enforcement officials in Benghazi, though, have said the unstable security situation creates major obstacles to their investigations and they lack the means to summon witnesses without the use of force. They also say they do not have access to sophisticated tools for investigation, such as DNA testing.
 
Salah said the government has shown no political will to resolve the situation. "The weakness of the government and the lack of means for these law enforcement agents to conduct their jobs, to do their investigations, is the main cause for that."
 
No group or individual has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Shashank Joshi, a Libya analyst at the Royal United Services Institute research group in London, said the situation has grown steadily worse since the overthrow of Gadhafi and shows little sign of improving. "At this point it is difficult to see how the state could do more without a more fundamental change in the political circumstances - and that is, all groups respecting the legitimacy of the central state."
 
He said the law enforcement system is not cohesive enough to apprehend suspects from far-flung parts of the country where they might have fled. Also, because of porous national borders to the south, suspects can easily flee the country.

Libya’s prime minister has said he will re-shuffle his government to try to tackle instability in Benghazi.

On top of the assassinations, the city has recently been hit by bombings, public protests, and a mass jail breakout.

Joshi said the government needs to rein in the situation now or risk state collapse. "I think they have a strong incentive in showing themselves to be competent. Because the more they allow this to continue, the less capable they are, the more they lose legitimacy and the more they lose ground to militias."
 
The research carried out by Human Rights Watch shows a peak in political assassinations in Benghazi in the second half of 2012, and then again in January and July 2013. It says most of the killings have been in central and eastern Libya.

You May Like

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid