United Nations A/hrc/19/68

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  1. The Commission has confirmed its previous finding that torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment were committed by the Qadhafi Government in violation of Libya’s obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law. Severe pain was inflicted upon persons held in detention (including incommunicado detention) and persons perceived to be supporting the thuwar. The Commission determined that the torture was inflicted to punish, humiliate or to extract information from the victims. These instances of torture occurred both prior to the outbreak of the armed conflict, (breaching international human rights law) and subsequently during the armed conflict (violating the Geneva Conventions, customary international law, and international human rights law). The Commission found that Qadhafi forces perpetrated torture on a widespread basis. It found further that torture was systematically inflicted upon suspected thuwar and their supporters. Members of the security apparatus, in particular the Internal Security Agency and Military Intelligence were found to be primarily responsible.

  2. The Commission has found that the thuwar committed during the conflict - and continue to commit at the time of this report - torture and maltreatment of individuals and communities that they believe to have been Qadhafi loyalists and those suspected of crimes. Beatings, amounting to torture per se, were perpetrated against detainees in official, and unofficial detention centres in violation of Protocol II’s requirement to treat humanely all those deprived of their liberty in the course of an armed conflict and international human rights law, particularly the Convention Against Torture. The Commission has concluded that the occurrence of torture by thuwar was widespread, having taken place in most of the 17 detention centres visited by the Commission. It found as well that the thuwar systematically tortured those they arrested, with severe beatings, particularly upon arrest or arrival at the facilities and targeting foremost members of the Tawerghan community and members of the security forces.

  3. The Commission welcomes the statements issued by the interim Government condemning torture and maltreatment and its stated commitment to investigate and punish anyone involved in such treatment, equally before the law and irrespective of their role in the conflict. The Commission welcomes in particular the efforts related to bringing informal detention facilities under the control of a central authority.

  4. Nevertheless, the Commission considers that the maltreatment that has occurred and continues to occur is sufficiently grave as to warrant an investigation targeting not only direct perpetrators, but also those who exercise effective control over such individuals.

  5. The Commission understands that no thuwar have been charged or prosecuted for crimes related to the maltreatment and death of detainees; and it is unclear whether investigations have been opened by the General Prosecutor even though families of victims have lodged complaints. Also, it is unclear that any vetting system has been put in place to ensure that thuwar or former Government members who defected are not given positions in the police or the army where they can repeat violations.

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