United Nations A/hrc/19/68

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Libyan institutions

  • The Commission understands that the interim Government is new and faces many challenges. Few of the officials or others such as human rights lawyers met by the Commission have demonstrated a real understanding of basic legal and human rights standards (such as the right to defence). The existing Libyan laws do not always conform to human rights standards59 and will need to be repealed or amended. Even those limited existing legal safeguards of human rights were routinely flouted in practice. Government officials informed the Commission that many prison buildings and police stations were destroyed during the conflict, either by retreating Qadhafi forces or by thuwar who associated them with repression. The Commission inspected the destruction at the notorious Abu Salim Prison. Therefore, the existing prisons, both official and unofficial, are of varying quality, but for the most part do not meet the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners. Prison guards and police under the former government had no concept of human rights. The adherence of those who have taken their place in recent times is variable. Several government officials, including the Minister of Justice and the head of the newly formed National Council for Civil Liberties and Human Rights, acknowledged to the Commission that judges, prosecutors, the judicial police and others involved in the administration of justice require training in human rights standards. While there was a human rights commission under the Qadhafi Government, it lacked impartiality and integrity.

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