Libya: a UN investigation discovers new suspected mass graves

UN Geneva office at Palais des Nations  UN Geneva office at Palais des Nations Mathias Reding on Unsplash

4 July 2022

A report by the UN Human Rights Council condemns the impunity regime still in force in the country regarding human rights violations

 On July 4, Mohamed Auajjar, head of the Fact-Finding Mission on Libya, spoke to the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva regarding the latest findings of the Mission's report from March 2022. His speech focused on the discovery of other mass graves in Tarhuna, a village in the Tripolitania region that was de facto controlled, from 2011 to 2020, by a pro-Haftar militia called Kaniyat, guided by the Al Kani brothers. According to Auajjar, the collected testimonies show that massacres, murders, acts of torture, as well as enforced disappearances and arbitrary imprisonment were perpetrated in Tarhuna.

 Using cutting-edge detection technologies, it was possible to identify the presence of possible new mass graves. However, it has not been possible to determine exactly how many bodies were buried, but at least 200 people remain officially missing from the village. These crimes have caused "untold anguish to their families (of the victims), who are entitled to know the truth about the fate of their loved ones."

 Auajjar also condemned the regime of impunity for perpetrators still present in the country, as well as the climate of discrimination, threats, and violence that afflicts women and other categories of vulnerable people such as activists, migrants, and prisoners, especially those interned in the infamous Libyan concentration camps. This situation is in fact one of the main reasons why the country struggles to move towards an effective transition to peace, democracy, and the rule of law.


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by Ignazio Alcamo

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