News / Middle East

UN Says Violence, Abuses in Libya Getting Worse

A rocket-propelled grenade damaged Libyan government offices in Tripoli June 4, 2014.
A rocket-propelled grenade damaged Libyan government offices in Tripoli June 4, 2014.
Lisa Schlein
The United Nations human rights office has denounced worsening violence in the eastern part of Libya, especially in Benghazi, where it says killings, human rights abuses and other forms of repression are escalating at an alarming pace.

Officials from the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights condemned the recent murder of the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross sub-delegation in Misrata, Libya, as one of the latest examples of the country's seeming lawlessness.

According to UNOHCHR spokesman Rupert Colville, eastern Libya has become a place where impunity reigns.

“The government is effectively unable to exercise control over a large number of armed brigades. That is a major concern," he said. "The government does not have effective control over the whole country at all. Assassinations and other attacks systematically target state officials themselves, and facilities belonging to the state, particularly in the east."  

Colville says hardly a week passes without bombings or attacks by armed groups
— sometimes on innocent civilians. While these groups should be answerable to the law, there aren't yet official laws to enforce.

Beyond the deteriorating security situation, he calls Libya's judicial system broken and unable to address many human rights concerns.

“For example, 7,000 people who continue to be deprived of their liberty without regard for due process: There have been reports on torture and other ill-treatment in detention facilities, the issues relating to detention of refugees and migrants transiting through Libya," he said. "Again, around 7,000 are believed to be detained, often in very poor conditions. Some of them have been detained for three years."

The United Nations published a report late last year focusing on torture and deaths in detention facilities throughout Libya.

Colville notes the government has responded to the report and has been making an effort to improve this deplorable situation.

You May Like

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Official Pleased With Ebola Containment Measure

Official says three-day sensitization effort will help reduce infection rate of Ebola disease nationwide More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As the tumult in the Middle East distracts Obama, shifting American focus eastward appears threatened More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: 1worldnow from: Earth
June 24, 2014 9:01 PM
Is it safe to assume that the abuses were getting better at one point? I really wasn't aware that the UN had a threshhold for when it became necessary to address abuses. OK UN, what's next? Let me guess: more talking, innocent people are dying, more threats, innocent people are dying, more press conferences, innocent people are dying, "more coffee and doughnuts, please," the innocent people are dying!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid