GENEVA / LIBYA FACT-FINDING MISSION

05-Jul-2022 00:11:15
New suspected mass graves have been uncovered in Tarhuna, Libya, a Human Rights Council probe reported on Monday, highlighting continuing extreme rights abuses in the country that have affected children and adults alike. UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA / LIBYA FACT-FINDING MISSION
TRT: 11:17
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGES: ENGLIS / NATS
DATELINE: 4 JULY 2022, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1. Med shot, UN Geneva flag alley
2. Wide shot, Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Libya and others seated at UN Geneva.
3. Med shot, panel of speakers, side shot
4. SOUNDBITE (ARABIC) Mohamed Auajjar, Chair, Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Libya:
“Good morning. First, I would like to welcome you all today to the Independent Fact Finding- Mission on Libya’s third press conference to present to you the findings of our third report. My name is Mohamed Aujjar Chair of the FFM Libya and I am present here with my colleagues fellow human rights experts Cheloka Beyani and Tracy Robinson. The third report would not have come to fruition without all those who have engaged with the Mission during the most recent reporting period, from March until June. I wish to personally thank the victims who have shared with us their personal testimonies, written submissions and other information – which in some cases, meant reliving the trauma of their experiences, or risking their personal safety. Established pursuant to Human Rights
Council resolution 43/39, the Mission was mandated to establish, in an independent and impartial manner, the facts and circumstances of the human rights situation throughout Libya, to document alleged violations and abuses of international human rights law and international humanitarian law by all parties in Libya since the beginning of 2016, including any gendered dimensions thereof, and to preserve evidence with a view to ensuring that perpetrators of violations and abuses are held accountable. The Mission conducted over 300 interviews since it started operating and organised four investigative missions to Libya. However, the Mission regrets not being able to travel to Sebha despite
its extensive preparations. The visit would have allowed the exploration of crucial Investigative opportunities to appropriately address allegations of violations in the south. At present, the culture of impunity continue to prevail, and poses a great obstacle towards achieving national reconciliation, and justice, truth and reparations for victims and their families. We continued to direct our fact-finding efforts towards human rights violations and abuses, and international crimes, that pose a challenge to Libya’s transition to peace, democracy and the rule of law. In terms of deprivation of liberty, the Mission identified clear patterns of human rights violations and abuses in 27 places of detention both official and unofficial including secret and extra- legal prisons. Based on more than 80 interviews with former and current detainees and their relatives and insider witnesses, the Mission has reasonable grounds to believe that crimes against humanity of murder, torture, imprisonment, rape, enforced disappearance and other inhumane acts have been committed in a number of prisons. Detailed investigative work was conducted for Tarhuna documenting widespread and systematic perpetration of enforced disappearances, extermination, murder, torture and imprisonment amounting to crimes against humanity, committed by Al Kani militias. The Mission also succeeded in identifying previously undiscovered mass graves in Tarhuna through the use of advanced technology. The FFM
will share its findings with the Libyan authorities to assist in fulfilling their duty to nvestigate, prosecute and punish perpetrators and contribute to the right to the truth for victims. Despite the continuous efforts by the Libyan authorities to exhume the mass graves in Tarhuna, over 200 individuals are reportedly still missing, causing untold anguish to their families, who are entitled to know the truth about the fate of their loved ones. A conference room paper on Tarhuna has been prepared and the Mission will share its findings during the Interactive Dialogue on 6 July. Additionally, enforced disappearances continue unabated in Libya. The Mission is greatly concerned regarding the continued disappearance of MP Sihem Sirgiwa who was abducted in 2019. Discrimination and violence is a feature of daily life for most women and girls in Libya. Of particular concern to the Mission is that the failure of the domestic law to provide protection against sexual and gender-based violence is inherent to and contributes to impunity for such crimes. However, some positive developments such as the establishment of two dedicated courts for cases of violence against women and children are to be noted. Children have been subjected to similar human rights violations as adults, including summary executions, arbitrary detention, sexual and gender based violence, and torture. We have highlighted restrictions and attacks on civil society organizations; on activists; on human rights defenders; and on journalists. Human rights defenders and civil society activists are the backbone of any democratic society. They are a cornerstone for a sustainable transition to democracy and rule of law in Libya. Persecution for of activists based on gender discrimination, sexual
orientation, minority and regional background should stop. We call on the Libyan authorities to protect those activists and to ensure that freedoms remain preserved in Libya. We have also continued to document consistent patterns of gross human rights violations against migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, which still occur with total impunity in Libya’s migration detention centres, in trafficking hubs, and in other contexts, amounting to crimes against humanity. Many of the violations documented by the Mission amount to international crimes, some of which are ongoing. A confidential list of individual suspects will be compiled by the Mission. This list will include the names of suspects, information about the potential suspect’s position or role, and a summary of evidence compiled by the Mission relating to the potential suspect. Libya remains without a permanent constitution and a legal framework capable of addressing the most serious human rights violations and international crimes, and its judiciary remains vulnerable to attacks and interference. We hail the effort of the judiciary in trying to function independently and impartially despite the threats and intimidation. The FFM as part of its support to the Libyan authorities to strengthen their role in protecting and promoting human rights recommends the adoption of a holistic National Human Rights Plan of action. The plan of action is to address all findings and recommendations from the Mission and other human rights bodies, ensure a sustainable transition to peace, democracy and full respect for human rights and commit to inclusive reconciliation. Now, more than ever, the Libyan people deserve a strong commitment, from within and also from the international community, to bring justice, and a sustainable peace to their country. This cannot be achieved without strong political will and unwavering support for a democratic transition towards a state based on the rule of law and human rights. Free and fair elections are essential to achieving this end. The FFM is part of the international commitment to achieving justice and accountability in Libya. Thank you. We are at your disposal to answer your questions.”
5. Med shot, participant wearing facemask, seated in front of laptop
6. Med shot, TV journalist holding video camera, podium speakers in viewfinder
7. Close up, Auajjar reading from his notes, side shot
8. Med shot, speakers at podium, seated
9. Close-up, photographer prepares to take photo
10. Close-up, showing laptop, hand holding pen, taking notes on notepad
11. Med shot, participant wearing mask, holding hand to ear
12. Med shot, participant checking mobile phone, participants to rear
13. Close-up, participant wearing conference hearing device in focus, then focuses on person to her side
14. Participants seated in conference room
15. Med, participants in foreground, podium speakers to rear and shown on large screen above them
STORYLINE
New suspected mass graves have been uncovered in Tarhuna, Libya, a Human Rights Council probe reported on Monday, highlighting continuing extreme rights abuses in the country that have affected children and adults alike.

Speaking in Geneva, Mohamed Auajjar, chair of the Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Libya, told journalists that a culture of impunity still prevailed across the war-torn country, representing “a great obstacle” to national reconciliation, truth and justice for the victims and their families.

Regarding Tarhuna specifically, the report gathered testimonies and found evidence of “widespread and systematic perpetration of enforced disappearances, extermination, murder, torture and imprisonment amounting to crimes against humanity, committed by Al Kani (Kaniyat) militias”.

The Mission chair noted that its investigations had identified “previously undiscovered mass graves in the town”, which is around 65 kilometres from the capital, Tripoli, through the use of advanced technology.

“We don’t know how many, now need to be excavated. But there have been hundreds of persons who have not yet been discovered, who have been disappeared.”

More than 200 individuals are still missing from Tarhuna and the surrounding area, causing “untold anguish to their families, who are entitled to know the truth about the fate of their loved ones”, Mr. Auajjar continued.

Women and girls have not been spared the fall-out of Libya’s destructive spiral since the overthrow of former President Muammar Gaddafi, in 2011.

Today, despite significant efforts to resolve longstanding differences, the internationally-recognized Government in Tripoli is still at odds with a rival administration and parliamentary authority in the east.

Among the report’s many disturbing findings is the fact that when women stepped forwards to present themselves in yet-to-be-held national elections, they became the target of discrimination or violence.

Some have been abducted, part of pattern of enforced disappearances which “continue unabated in Libya”, Mr. Aujjar said, pointing to Member of Parliament Sihem Sirgiwa, who was taken in 2019.

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

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

These include those accompanying adult migrants, refugees and asylumseekers who have been detained in Libya’s notorious detention facilities, according to the Fact-Finding Mission, which is to present its third report to the Human Rights Council on Wednesday 6 July.
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