*LFJL Calls for Accountability in the Ongoing Political Dialogues

January 27, 2015

Lawyers for Justice in Libya (LFJL) acknowledges the ongoing political dialogues and commitments expressed at the end of the first round of the Geneva talks but is concerned by the continued lack of commitment to accountability measures for human rights violations by the parties involved in these dialogues.

During the first round of the two day discussions hosted by the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) in Geneva, a number of commitments were expressed. Key amongst these are respect for the rule of law and human rights, and the need to address the situation of the illegally detained, the abducted, the missing, refugees and the issue of internally displaced persons (IDPs). Whilst these are important steps to ensuring better human rights guarantees, LFJL is concerned that accountability for violations remains excluded from these discussions. This remains an ongoing shortcoming since the Ghadames dialogues. LFJL warned previously that measures to end impunity are vital to ensuring a lasting peace and must form part of any settlement.

LFJL acknowledges the united calls for securing the withdrawal of armed groups from all Libyan cities as vital for the country’s stability; however such a strategy will prove to be ineffective if those committing human rights violations remain unaccountable for their actions and continue to enjoy total impunity.

LFJL is also concerned by reports of breaches to the ceasefire early last week to which the parties involved in the dialogue unilaterally agreed. Such breaches will continue if no accountability measures are adopted. Any hopes for a lasting peace will remain fragile if those who obstruct and undermine Libya’s democratic transition continue to act with total impunity.

LFJL welcomes the commitment to stop inciting media campaigns which is a vital step to the establishment of long-term peace, but warns that any strategy to address this issue must be applied in a way which respects human rights and should not be used as a justification by political actors to curb freedom of expression as a means to achieve political gains.

LFJL urges parties involved in the dialogues to reflect on the violations that have been occurring since 2011 and the need to put in place accountability measures to help stop their escalation. “It is worrying to see that the agenda for these dialogues is empty of any commitments to ensuring accountability for human rights violations. Human rights should not be negotiated out or compromised but must be the focal point and cornerstone to any settlement,” explained LFJL Director, Elham Saudi.

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