Forces loyal to Putist General Khalifa Haftar detain at least nine “peaceful protesters”, Amnesty International said on Tuesday.
Those arrested were among about 30 people protesting last month in Sirte, the ousted dictator Moammar Gaddafi’s hometown.
Amnesty International said in a statement that it had called on international and local authorities to compensate victims of NATO airstrikes during the 2011 uprising that overthrew Gaddafi.
The detention of several protesters and a Libyan TV reporter who watched their demonstration reflect how rights have been “brutally crushed” in areas controlled by Haftar-affiliated forces, Amnesty International said in a statement.
Sirte, in the middle of Libya’s Mediterranean coast, has been under the control of friendly forces since 2020.
“The arbitrary detention of these peaceful protesters for demanding justice and reparation in connection with the 2011 armed conflict shows how intolerant LAAF and affiliated armed groups are against all independent activists, even if they are not critical of their rule,” Diana Eltahawy, Amnesty’s Deputy Director. for the Middle East and North Africa, the press release said. LAAF is an acronym for Haftar’s self-proclaimed Libyan armed forces.
“Suspected opponents and critics have either been shot in the street, forcibly disappeared or disappeared in prison,” says Eltahawy.
Last month, UN investigators said that serious violations of rights, including possible crimes against humanity, continued with impunity in large parts of Libya, blocking the country’s transition to peace and democracy.
Since the beginning of March, Libya has been in two governments after the East-based House of Representatives appointed former Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha in a challenge to Tripoli-based Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah.
Bashagha is allied with Haftar, whose external supporters include Russia. Dbeibah, installed last year as part of a UN-led peace process, has insisted he will only relinquish power to an elected administration.
Presidential and parliamentary elections that took place in December last year were postponed indefinitely.
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