UN urges probe into suspected excessive use of force against protests in Libya's capital

Xinhua , Monday 24 Aug 2020

The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) on Monday called for "immediate and thorough" investigation into suspected excessive use of force by the UN-backed government's security against demonstrations in the capital Tripoli.

"The excessive use of force by pro-GNA security personnel in Tripoli on Sunday ... resulted in the injury of a number of protesters," UNSMIL said in a statement.

The rights to peaceful assembly, protest and freedom of expression are "fundamental human rights and fall within Libya's obligations under international human rights law," it noted.

The demonstrations were motivated by frustrations about sustained poor living conditions, shortages of electricity and water and a lack of service provision throughout the country, the statement explained.

"Given the continuing immiseration of the Libyan people and the ever-present threat of renewed conflict, it is past time for Libyan leaders to put aside their differences and engage in a fully inclusive political dialogue," it said.

A day earlier, the Interior Ministry of the UN-backed government said some individuals posing as security personnel fired at the demonstrations "in an attempt to create chaos."

"The security services and departments spotted and identified those individuals in order to arrest them. They are neither police officers nor affiliated to the Interior Ministry," the Ministry said in a statement.

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