Speaking in Geneva, Mohamed Aujar, chairman of the Independent Fact-Finding Mission in Libya, told reporters that a culture of impunity still prevails in the war-torn country, representing a “great obstacle” to national reconciliation, truth and justice for the victims. and their families.
With regard to Tarhuna specifically, the report collected testimonies and found evidence of “widespread and systematic perpetration of enforced disappearances, exterminations, murders, torture and imprisonment amounting to crimes against humanity committed by Al-Kani (Kaniyat) militias.”
The Chairman of the Mission noted that the investigation revealed “previously undiscovered mass graves in the city”, which is located about 65 kilometers from the capital Tripoli, thanks to the use of advanced technologies. “We do not know how many of them now need to be excavated. But there were hundreds of people who hadn’t been found yet, who were missing.”
More than 200 people are still unaccounted for in and around Tarhuna, causing “untold suffering to their families, who have the right to know the truth about the fate of their loved ones,” continued Mr. Aujar.
Designed to speak
Women and girls have not escaped the consequences of Libya’s destructive spiral since the ouster of former President Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
Today, despite significant recent progress In an attempt to resolve long-standing differences, the internationally recognized government in Tripoli is still in conflict with a rival administration and parliament in the east.
Among the many disturbing findings of the FFM report is that when women came forward to represent themselves in the yet to be held national elections, they were the target of discrimination or violence.
Some of them have been abducted, part of a pattern of enforced disappearances that “doesn’t stop in Libya,” said Mr Aujar, pointing to Sichem Sirgiva, an MP who was captured in 2019.
“Discrimination and violence are part of the daily lives of most women and girls in Libya,” continued Mr. Aujar. “It is of particular concern to the Mission that the failure of domestic laws to provide protection against sexual and gender-based violence is integral to and contributes to impunity for such crimes.”
Lack of judicial power
Despite the long-awaited creation of two special courts to adjudicate cases of violence against women and children, a human rights expert warned that young people face “summary executions, arbitrary detention, sexual and gender-based violence and torture.”
They include those accompanying adult migrants, refugees and asylum seekers who have been detained in notorious detention centers in Libya, according to the Fact-Finding Mission, which is due to submit its third report. Human Rights Council on Wednesday 6 July.