By Sami Zaptia.
London, 27 August 2020:
In light of the anti-government demonstrations by Libyans that started on Sunday across a number of cities including in Tripoli, and the shooting on them by ‘‘government-recognized’’ forces, and the vow by the Interior Ministry to investigate those who opened fire on them, UNSMIL held a meeting with activists yesterday.
UNSMIL had also called on Monday for an immediate investigation into Sunday’s shootings.
The demonstrations continued Monday, Tuesday and yesterday.
It must be recalled that Libya has a law organizing demonstrations (65/2012). Demonstrators are obliged to obtain prior permission, register, and identify their organizing committee and work with the Interior Ministry. These demonstrations did not obtain permission, nevertheless the Interior Ministry provided them with protection, despite eventually some infiltrators firing on them.
On Monday, the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli said Ambassador Richard Norland ‘‘supported the right of citizens anywhere in the country to engage in peaceful protest’’.
The UNSMIL statement read: ‘‘Acting SRSG Stephanie Williams held a “virtual” meeting today with a number of activists from across Libya. She urged a leading role for civil society and youth activist in pushing for transparency and accountability principles and encouraged them to champion the national interest and good governance principles.
Acting SRSG also welcomed the statement released by activists on August 18, in which they expressed support for the launch of an international audit of the two branches of Central Bank of Libya. The participants stressed the importance of combating corruption and advocated for the peoples’ right to demonstrate peacefully’’.