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

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani 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.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid