Massive human rights abuses reported in Libya

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The city of Benghazi, Libya, in the early morning sunlight. Photo: UNSMIL/Iason Athanasiadis

Massive human rights violations and abuses are taking place in Libya as fighting between armed groups continues in the country, according to a report released on Tuesday.

The joint report of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and the UN Human Rights Office says hundreds of people have died, thousands of others have fled their homes and those trapped in conflict zones face acute humanitarian conditions.

Ravina Shamdasani, a spokesperson for the UN Human Rights Office in Geneva, says the report details the human rights violations and abuses currently taking place in Libya.

"These include indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas, the abduction of civilians, torture and reports of executions, as well as deliberate destruction of property. In western Libya, in the area of Warshafana, fighting between rival armed groups has killed an estimated 100 people and injured 500 between late August and early October. The fighting has caused a humanitarian crisis, with at least 120,000 people forced to flee their homes and severe shortages of food and medical supplies."

The report says that hundreds of houses, farms and other businesses have also been destroyed.

In Benghazi, since the fighting escalated in mid-October, 450 people have reportedly been killed.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has warned all those involved in the fighting that they are criminally liable for the grave abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations

Duration: 1'47"

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