By Sami Zaptia.
London, 29 August 2020:
Following last week’s unauthorised demonstrations against deteriorating living conditions in several Libyan cities, and the excessive force used by state-recognised security forces in repelling them and the political split that that has caused, UNSMIL has today urged calm.
In a statement that was careful to keep a neutral line, UNSMIL said ”Libya is witnessing a dramatic turn of events that underlines the urgent need to return to a full and inclusive political process that will meet the aspirations of the Libyan people for representative government, dignity, and peace. UNSMIL urges calm, the application of the rule of law and the preservation of the rights of all citizens to peacefully express their views.
Across Libya, UNSMIL is registering an increase in reports of human rights violations, including arbitrary arrests and detention, restrictions placed on freedom of movement and expression, as well as on the right of peaceful assembly and protest.
In Tripoli, UNSMIL remains concerned about the excessive use of force against demonstrators as well as the arbitrary arrest of a number of civilians. UNSMIL is also concerned about reports of on-going human rights violations and abuses in Sirte, including the killing of one civilian, the arbitrary arrest of several others, and the illegal forced entry into private properties
The prolific use of hate speech and incitement to violence appears designed to further divide Libyans, increase polarization and tear at the country’s social fabric at the expense of a Libyan-Libyan solution”.
In light of anti-government demonstrations, UNSMIL holds meeting with Libyan activists