United Nations A/hrc/19/68

Current Situation in Libya

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3. Current Situation in Libya

101. Accountability mechanisms in Libya are deficient in a number of respects, many of which are the direct consequence of the legacy of the Qadhafi era.

102. Libya’s existing Criminal Code does not adequately define international crimes. The Code provides for statutory limitation of 10 years for crimes, after which there can be no prosecution. Although a law that came into effect in 1998 repealed this provision, it does not have retrospective effect. The Military Penal Code precludes statutory limitations.

103. In practice, the current situation shows that the law has not been applied consistently or equally. The Commission has received information of attacks, including unlawful killings, torture and arbitrary arrests by thuwar on members of the former government and those perceived to be among its supporters. The Commission is not aware of any thuwar arrested or detained for these crimes

104. While the interim Government is making progress in re-establishing courts, the absence of a functioning court system prevents perpetrators being held accountable.

105. The Libyan authorities face considerable challenges in dealing with recent and past violations. They are likely to have difficulties in processing the approximately 8,000 detainees currently in custody.

106. In February 2012, criminal proceedings commenced before a military court in Benghazi against 41 Qadhafi loyalists accused of crimes during the conflict. The Commission notes the case has now appropriately been transferred the case to a civilian court.

107. In December 2011, the NTC issued a law establishing the National Council for Civil Liberties and Human Rights, and appointed its members. The Council has authority to receive complaints on violations of human rights and to file cases in court.

108. The NTC recently adopted a Transitional Justice Law, which created a National Fact-finding and Reconciliation Commission charged with investigating incidents of human rights violations committed over the past 42 years. The law also establishes a victims’ compensation fund.

109. A law on amnesty has recently been adopted by the NTC. The law seen by the Commission allows amnesty to perpetrators of crimes on certain conditions. Crimes of murder, serious injuries, rape, torture and abduction are excluded from amnesty. The draft law provides, however, that reconciliation between the perpetrator and the victim dismisses the criminal charges or penalty. Granting amnesty will not preclude the right of victims to restitution and compensation.

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