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Libya in Amnesty International’s annual report

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LIBYAPROSPECT – London

In its annual report, Amnesty International said that the forces of the rival governments in Libya and the other armed groups and militias are responsible for “the serious violations of international law and abuses of human rights with impunity.”

The report added that “all sides to the conflict carried out indiscriminate attacks and direct attacks on civilians, forcing thousands to become internally displaced and causing a humanitarian crisis.”

Amnesty International stated that Libya is “deeply divided as rival governments continued to vie for political legitimacy and assert control against a background of economic collapse and widespread lawlessness in which armed groups and militias abducted people for ransom and committed unlawful killings with impunity.”

The report talked about the disputes between the Presidential Council (PC) of the Government of National Accord (GNA) and the Salvation Government in the Tripoli, since the PC entered in March after the announcement of the Political Agreement (PA) in December 2015.

The report said that “the GNA failed to consolidate power amid continued sporadic clashes between armed groups, including in areas it controlled, while its legitimacy remained contested by the House of Representatives (HoR) based in Tobruk.”

Then the report mentioned the army of the HoR under the leadership of the retired General Khalifa Haftar, which “consolidated its power and made significant territorial gains in the east.”

It added that Haftar’s army “replaced some elected municipal council heads with military-appointed governors in the areas they controlled, while their forces captured vital oil terminals from a GNA-allied armed group in September.”

In the part of the internal armed conflict, the report talked about the war in Benghazi. It said that “some attacks by armed groups and militias in Benghazi targeted hospitals and other civilian buildings. They included a car bomb attack on 24 June at Al-Jalaa hospital that killed five and wounded 13, mostly civilians.”

It reported that Haftar’s army air strikes killed civilians in the eastern city of Derna.”

It stated that “hundreds of civilians remained trapped without access to clean water, food, power, or medical care in Benghazi’s Ganfouda area due to fighting.”

It talked even about the fighting between the “armed groups in Tripoli, Al-Zawiya, and other cities in western Libya, as well as tribal fighting in southern Libya, also caused deaths and injuries among civilians.”

The report said that “the conflict had a devastating impact on civilians, cutting or severely curtailing their access to food, healthcare, education, electricity, fuel and water supplies, and causing many to be displaced from their homes. The Economic collapse left many struggling to support their families.”

The report mentioned that “the armed groups, including some operating under Libya’s rival governments, abducted and detained civilians on account of their origin, opinions, and perceived political or tribal affiliations. Rising criminality in the absence of a functioning justice system also saw armed groups and gangs abducting civilians for ransom in Tripoli and other cities.”

It added that “those abducted included political, human rights and other activists, journalists, and judicial and other public officials. Some foreign nationals were targeted based on their religion, race or nationality. Some were released after payment of ransoms or local mediation.”

It reported that Daesh had abducted and some armed groups and civilians, “including foreign nationals employed in the oil industry, migrant workers, and refugees.”

“Other armed groups also targeted foreign nationals for abduction for ransoms. Victims included two Italians and a Canadian abducted on 19 September while working in Ghat, southwest Libya. They were freed in early November,” Amnesty International reported.

The report said that “by August the number of internally displaced people in Libya had risen to almost 350,000, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). This included an estimated 40,000 former residents of Tawargha who had been forced from their homes five years earlier. In August, a reconciliation agreement between Misrata and Tawargha representatives aimed to facilitate their return to the town.”

It also stated that “armed groups and militias continued to harass, abduct, torture, and kill human rights defenders, political and other activists and journalists.”

Regarding the refugees and migrants, the report said that they “were subjected to serious abuses by armed groups, people smugglers and traffickers, and guards in government-run detention centers.”

It added that “the IOM said in October that it had identified 276,957 migrants in Libya but estimated the true number to be between 700,000 and 1 million. UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, had registered 38,241 refugees by the end of the year.”

About women, Amnesty International said that “the armed groups also threatened and harassed women who engaged in public activism.”At the end of its report, Amnesty International stated that “the death penalty remained in force for a wide range of crimes; no executions were reported.”

At the end of its report, Amnesty International stated that “the death penalty remained in force for a wide range of crimes; no executions were reported.”