There are serious human rights abuses in Libya: UN report

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OHCHR spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani. Photo: UN Multimedia

Serious human rights abuses are taking place in the Libyan cities of Tripoli and Benghazi which are mired in conflict by armed groups, according to a United Nations report released on Thursday.

The joint report by the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and the UN Human Rights Office details accounts of civilian casualties, including women, children and foreigners.

It says that abuses include indiscriminate shelling and attacks on civilian installations such as hospitals, the abduction of civilians, torture and killings.

Ravina Shamdasani, Spokesperson for the UN Human Rights Office in Geneva says the situation in Tripoli and Benghazi is seriously deteriorating.

"We have seen a lot of fighting going on between armed groups in these two cities in particular and, unfortunately, many of the weapons that are being used by these armed groups are unreliable, inaccurate, old and poorly maintained and the fighters often appear to disregard the likely impact on civilians. What has ended up happening is we are seeing civilian casualties in densely populated areas and there is a high likelihood that most of these attacks carried out are indiscriminate." (25")

UNSMIL estimates that at least 100,000 Libyans have been internally displaced by the fighting and 150,000 people, including many migrant workers, have left the country.

Libya has been struggling to restore stability since the overthrow of Muammar Gadhafi three years ago.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations.

Duration: 1’39″

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