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Libya: new suspected mass graves found in Tarhuna, says UN human rights probe

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 Libya new suspected mass graves found in Tarhuna says UN human rights probe
Libya: new suspected mass graves found in Tarhuna, says UN human rights probe

1 New suspicious mass graves have been discovered in Tarhuna, Libya, a Human Rights Council investigation reported on Monday, highlighting ongoing extreme rights abuses in the country that have affected children and adults alike.

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3 Speaking in Geneva, Mohamed Auajjar, chairman of the Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Libya, told reporters that a culture of impunity still prevails across the war-torn country, posing “a major obstacle” to national reconciliation, truth and justice for the victims. and their families.

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4 With regard to Tarhuna specifically, the report collected testimonies and found evidence of “the widespread and systematic perpetration of enforced disappearances, extermination, murder, torture and imprisonment that constitute crimes against humanity, committed by the Al Kani (Kaniyat) militias.”

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6 The Mission’s chairman noted that his investigations had identified “previously undiscovered mass graves in the city,” which is about 65 kilometers from the capital Tripoli, through the use of advanced technology. “We don’t know how many, now we have to dig. But there have been hundreds of people who have not yet been discovered, who have been disappeared.”

7 More than 200 people remain missing in and around Tarhuna, causing “incalculable anguish to their families, who have a right to know the truth about the fate of their loved ones,” Mr. Auajjar continued.

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9 Women and girls have not been spared the consequences of Libya’s destructive spiral since the ouster of former President Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

10 Today, despite significant recent progressOpens in new window in trying to resolve long-standing differences, the internationally recognized government in Tripoli is still at loggerheads with a rival administration and parliamentary authority in the east.

11 Among the many disturbing findings of the Fact Finding Mission report was the fact that when women came forward to stand in national elections that had yet to take place, they became targets of discrimination or violence.

12 Some have been kidnapped, part of the pattern of enforced disappearances that “go on unabated in Libya,” Aujjar said, pointing to MP Sihem Sirgiwa, who was kidnapped in 2019.

13 “Discrimination and violence are a feature of daily life for most women and girls in Libya,” continued Mr. Aujjar. “Of particular concern to the Mission is that the failure of domestic law to provide protection against sexual and gender-based violence is inherent and contributes to impunity for such crimes.”

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15 Despite the welcome creation of two courts dedicated to ruling on cases of violence against women and children, the rights expert warned that young people have faced “summary executions, arbitrary detentions, sexual and gender-based violence, and torture.”

16 They include those accompanying adult migrants, refugees and asylum seekers who have been detained in Libya’s notorious detention centres, according to the Fact Finding Mission, which will submit its third report to the Human Rights CouncilOpens in new window on Wednesday July 6th.

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