Open letter to Libyan state on its Universal Periodic Review mid-term and Coalition publishes monitoring report

November 30, 2017

To the Honourable Representatives of the Libyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

We, the Coalition of Libyan Human Rights Organisations (the Coalition), are writing to you as November 2017 marked the mid-term for the State of Libya‘s (Libya) second Universal Periodic Review (UPR). On this occasion, we are disappointed to note that Libya has not submitted a mid-term report assessing the status of implementation of the UPR recommendations it has accepted as part of its second UPR. In view of this, we are deeply concerned that Libya has not made significant progress over the past two years in the implementation of these recommendations. 

In May 2015, the Coalition welcomed Libya’s commitment, as set out in Libya’s UPR national report dated 5 May 2015, to strive to implement the UPR recommendations. Subsequently, on 25 September 2015, Libya accepted 171 of 202 recommendations put forward by United Nations (UN) Member States to improve human rights protection in Libya.

We monitored 48% of Libya’s accepted UPR recommendations. These focused on (i) the rights of freedoms of expression, association, and assembly; (ii) the right to non-discrimination and equality for internally displaced persons (IDPs), persons with disabilities, ethnic minorities and on the basis of gender; and finally (iii) the right to be free from torture and ill-treatment. In view of this, we present to you our findings in our report entitled “UPRna Mid-Term Monitoring Report: An Assessment of Libya’s Second Universal Periodic Review” (the Report). Our findings conclude that:  

  • Libya has not implemented in any way 73% of the recommendations it accepted;
  • Libya has not implemented any recommendations at all in relation to freedom of expression, association and assembly;
  • Libya has only taken limited steps towards the implementation of 23% of the recommendations it accepted in relation to promoting non-discrimination and equality and prohibiting torture and ill-treatment; 
  • Libya has taken notable steps towards implementation of only one recommendation in relation to the rights of ethnic minorities;
  • Libya has failed to produce an implementation action plan despite it being two years since it promised it would implement the recommendations; and
  • Libya has not fulfilled its promise to establish “a genuine partnership” with civil society organisations “in order to give effect to and strengthen human rights in Libya”,  instead, Libya has put in place additional restrictions on the work of civil society organisations.

These findings demonstrate clearly that human rights protection is not on Libya’s list of priorities. We acknowledge the precarious security situation in the country. However, this does not exempt Libya from its duties to respect, protect and promote human rights. It also does not justify the lack of any practical steps taken by Libya during the implementation period of the UPR. Key among these steps are: 

(i) to produce and publish an implementation action plan for all accepted UPR recommendations, with an anticipated time-frame for activities that is regularly updated to reflect the progress of implementation; 

(ii) to consult and cooperate with Libyan civil society during both the formulation of this implementation action plan and during the implementation of UPR recommendations; and

(iii) to submit to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) an assessment report on the status of implementation of accepted UPR recommendations, which can be an opportunity to identify practical ways for addressing any obstacles it is facing for human rights protection.

Libya’s third UPR cycle is in May 2020. We urge Libya to make tangible efforts to implement accepted UPR recommendations from the current second cycle during the two remaining years. We also call on you to organise a national consultation with Libyan civil society during the remaining implementation period and ahead of Libya’s third UPR cycle. 

Yours faithfully,

The Coalition of Libyan Human Rights Organisation comprising the following undersigned organisations: 

Al Nissa Qadimat Movement (the Women are Coming Movement)

Independent Organisation for Human Rights

Lawyers for Justice in Libya

Libyan Association for Tebu Culture

Libyan Center for Freedom of Press

Mercy Association for Charitable and Humanitarian Aid (Alrahma)

National Libyan Organisation for the Development of People with Disabilities

Youth for Tawergha

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