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Dbeibeh's gov't accuses Amnesty of 'politicised' work against Libya's interests

Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh speaks during a protest against the "withdrawal the vote of confidence from the government" decision of the House of Representatives (TM), chaired by warlord Khalifa Haftar's political ally Akile Salih, at Martyrs' Square in Tripoli, Libya on September 21, 2021. ( Mücahit Aydemir - Anadolu Agency )
Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh on September 21, 2021 [Mücahit Aydemir/Anadolu Agency]

The Libyan Government of National Unity yesterday accused Amnesty International of "politicising work and following the path of systematic prejudice against the interests of the Libyan state."

This came in a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs following a recent report by Amnesty International, in which it accused security services in Tripoli of "violating human rights."

On 4 May, the organisation said in a report that "the consolidation of impunity in Libya has encouraged the state-funded Stability Support Apparatus (affiliated to the Presidential Council) to commit unlawful killings, detain individuals arbitrarily, block the routes of migrants and refugees, and other egregious violations of human rights."

In its statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed that it regretted "the blatant politicisation and unjustified escalation of the Amnesty International report."

"The organisation's report lacks professionalism and credibility. In fact, we consider it a continuation of the path of systematic prejudice ongoing for years against the interests of the Libyan state," it added.

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"Before preparing its report and upon its visit to the country, this organisation did not conduct any visits to the aforementioned security services and did not question these services about any violations or actions they have committed."

Amnesty, the ministry continued, "did not provide any significant evidence that confirms its allegations." It added that the report "came to obscure the ongoing violations of the laws, legislation, customs, and ethics applied within the Libyan state."

It warned that it may "take measures against the organisation, including filing lawsuits."

The statement affirmed that "the Government of National Unity continues its efforts to reinforce all human rights under its national vision and meet all Libyans' aspirations."

Last February, a delegation from Amnesty International visited Libya and "spoke to nine people who said they suffered grave human rights violations at the hands of the SSA members, as well as eight family members and three activists."

"Mass arbitrary detention, torture, forced labour, rape and other horrific violations by SSA militiamen against refugees and migrants are yet another grim reminder that refugees and migrants intercepted at sea should never be returned to Libya. EU and member states should urgently suspend any co-operation with Libya on migration and border control. They must ensure that any future cooperation is contingent upon Libyan authorities ending the policy of arbitrary detention of migrants and refugees and effectively investigating crimes against them," said Amnesty's Diana Eltahawy.

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