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UN: Armed Groups Control Prisons in Libya, Torture Detainees

armed groups control prisons in libya

ISIS IN ACTION

On 7 April, local Libyan National Army (LNA) affiliated security forces apprehended a suspected ISIS member who was allegedly preparing to conduct an attack against LNA forces in the coastal town of Zueitina. This follows an increase in security patrol by the LNA and security forces in the Oil Crescent after multiple suicide vehicle-borne improved explosive device (SVBIED) attacks on LNA checkpoints near Ajdabiya on 9 and 29 of March.

WESTERN RESPONSE

On 10 April, the UN human rights office and UN Support Mission in Libya released a report exploring armed groups control of prisons in Libya, the subsequent torturing of detainees and how successive government in Tripoli have been inability to curtail these activities. The report describes the armed groups’ power as having grown “unchecked” and free of effective government oversight despite the state paying the salaries and providing material and equipment to the groups.

On 5 April, UNSMIL launched its first round of ‘consultative meetings’ in Benghazi and Zuwara, as part of the UN-initiated Libya National Forum followed by meetings in Ghariyan and Brak al-Shatti on 7 April and in Abu Salim on 10 April. More than 20 of these meetings are planned across the next few weeks, including at least 5 in Libya’s south. The aim of these meetings is to give citizens the opportunity to air their opinions on divisive issues. The idea is that the views elicited in this ‘bottom-up’ process will then feed into the National Conference planned by UN Envoy Ghassan Salame after Ramadan in mid-June. The UN-initiated public consultation process will be organized by the Geneva-based Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue.

Libya-Analysis is the most read independent English-language blog on Libyan affairs. It is run by Jason Pack, founder of EyeOnISISinLibya.com and researcher of World History at Cambridge University

This article was republished with explicit permission from the author.

Featured photo: Fighters arrive from around the region to join push into Bani Walid during the 2011 NATO intervention in Libya. Credit: VOA, E. Arrott.