Libya- A joint press conference was held today by the International Humanitarian Law Center and the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor in Libya to announce the launching of a new project. The project will commit to documenting cases of torture and creating a statistical base for victims of torture from all parties to the conflict in the country since February 2011 until mid-2018 (and will cover the upcoming period as well).
This project also aims at promoting human rights in North Africa - particularly in the Libyan territory that has been crippled by armed conflict and gross violations of human rights for seven years now.
The press conference was held yesterday morning at Bab Al Bahr Hotel in Tripoli, where it was pointed out that the International Humanitarian Law Center will be responsible for locally overseeing the implementation of the project while Euro-Med Monitor will provide the technical support on an international level.
“The instability and insecurity that the Libyan territory witnessed in recent years have resulted in many gross abuses, including torture against members of all parties to the conflict in the country,” said Euro-Med Monitor spokesman in Libya Mousa Al Qnaidi, noting that the dire humanitarian situation has prompted a serious commitment to the rehabilitation of thousands of victims so that they can overcome their plight.
The first phase of the project aims to establish a comprehensive database for torture victims in Libya, explains Al Qnaidi. A team of 60 researchers will be distributed across different areas of Libya as part of the project. The second phase includes supporting victims of torture whose cases have been documented, rehabilitating them and re-integrating them into the community. This will be possible through cooperation with the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture. Helping them recover from the psychological and physical traumas resulting from the violations they had suffered during their period of detention or enforced disappearance, they will be provided with the necessary material and moral support.
The project seeks to contribute to creating a society that is void of physical and psychological violence, by raising awareness of the dangers of torture as a criminal phenomenon, which not only affects victims, but also threatens the entire social fabric. The project also aims to put pressure on the Libyan authorities to accede to the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture.
The Euro-Mediterranean Monitor for Human Rights referred to the launch of the project's website, in order to ensure that all victims can verify their information by accessing the website. The findings of the documentation will be announced in a comprehensive report that will be presented at a specialized workshop at the United Nations Palace in Geneva on the sidelines of Member States sessions.