Tripoli, 8 May:
A major anti-torture conference was held at the Post Graduate Student Academy in Tripoli on Sunday, organised by the . . .[restrict]Libyan Human Rights Observatory.
The conference sought to address major concerns with regards to ongoing allegations of torture in post-Qaddafi Libya. In his most recent report to the United Nations Security Council, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon estimated that 5,000-6,000 people continue to be detained by revolutionary brigades beyond the rule of law in centres where incidences of torture are believed to be widespread.
The problem is said to be particularly pronounced in and around Misrata, where ongoing recriminations between Misratans and the people of nearby Tawergha, many of whom supported Qaddafi in the revolution, are unresolved. Yesterday, a UN team visited Misrata to inspect the prisons there following the death of three individuals at the Zaroug detention centre. The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has also raised concerns about torture and ill-treatment of detainees held in detention centres in Tripoli, Zawiya and Zintan.
Speaking at the conference, Libyan Human Rights Observatory president Nasser Hawari called for new laws to help prevent torture and human rights violations in Libya and said that there should be no laws exempting any perpetrators of torture from prosecution. He added that incidences of torture in Libya undermined the spirit of the 17 February revolution and compromised the country’s democratic future.
Since 1989, Libya has been a party to the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.