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The Libyan League For Human Rights
الرابطة الليبية لحقوق الإنسان

الاحد 8 مايو 2011

allibyah@yahoo.com

2 March 2011 

INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS (FIDH)

LIBYAN LEAGUE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS (LLHR)

 

Attention :

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights

 

Madam President,

By the instant, the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) and the Libyan League for Human Rights (LLHR) hereby submit a communication brought by our two organizations against Libya pursuant to Article 55 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

Considering the serious and widespread nature of human rights violations currently occurring in Libya and mindful of Rule 119.4 of the Interim Rules of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights as well as Article 5 of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, our two organizations call on the Commission to urgently seize the Court with the case presented hereunder.

Communication:  The International Federation of Human Rights and the Libyan League for Human Rights (LLHR) Vs Libya

1.     The Complainants:

The International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH)

The Libyan League for Human Rights (LLHR)

2.     The State against which the Application is filed:

The IFHR and its member organization, the LLHR, hereby submit a communication  against Libya

            Libya is a State Party to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights since 26 March 1987.

            Libya is also party to the Convention for the Elimination of Mercenarism in Africa which it ratified on 11 May 2005.

            In addition, Libya is party to the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights regarding the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights since the 8th of December 2003.

3.     Acts that amount to violations of the provisions of the African Charter and other relevant African instruments

 

Between 15 and 18 February 2011, many peaceful demonstrations were organized by the people of Libya to protest against the authoritarian method of leadership of the regime.

 

Libyan soldiers, security forces and revolutionary guards (pro government militias) suppressed those demonstrations in blood.

 

Government forces fired live ammunition at peaceful crowds killing hundreds of and wounding thousands among the demonstrators in several towns, particularly in Benghazi and Tobrouk.

 

The wounded were denied access to hospitals and evacuation by ambulance.

 

Moreover, government forces engaged in the arbitrary arrest and detention of thousands of people.

 

This bloody repression led to an uprising among members of the population against the regime with the support of some soldiers who refused to obey orders to shoot by their superiors.

 

Between 18 February and the date of this communication (2 March 2011), the Government, in response, used force including the deliberate targeting of civilians.

 

The bombing orders issued to fighter pilots, as reported by some of them who had escaped from the country, seem to point to the fact that Gaddafi had indeed decided to embark on the widespread elimination of those participating in the protests and, beyond that, to ensure the systematic punishment of civilians.

 

The intention to eliminate the protesters is evident in the statement made by President Gaddafi and his son Seif Al Islam to wit “rivers of blood will flow”, we shall wipe out the rats”.

 

 

Government authorities used the services of mercenaries to support their elimination project as confirmed by numerous testimonies from members of the public.

 

There is evidence that soldiers had been murdered for refusing to carry out orders and injured patients had been killed in hospitals (such as the Central Hospital and the Sbiaa Hospital in Tripoli). 

 

Bloody confrontations, had occurred in several towns, including Tripoli.

 

The inhabitants of Tripoli talked of real “massacres” and “of armed men shooting blindly” and killing “even women”.

 

More than 100,000 people have sought refuge in Tunisia.

 

LLHR, in an inexhaustive assessment on 1 March 2011, reported that there had been more than three thousand deaths, mainly of civilians, since 15 February.

 

At its 261st meeting on 23 February 2011, the Peace and Security Council of the African Union firmly condemned “the indiscriminate and excessive use of force and of weapons against peaceful demonstrators in violation of human rights and international humanitarian law resulting in huge losses in human lives and the destruction of properties”.

 

In Resolution 1970 (2011) unanimously adopted on 26 February 2011, members of the UN Security Council denounced “the flagrant and systematic violations of human rights in particular the repression of peaceful demonstrators” and held that “the systematic and widespread attacks occurring in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya against the civilian population could constitute crimes against humanity”.

 

4.     Provisions of the Charter and other relevant African instruments violated by the Libyan State

The acts set out above represent/manifest violations by the Libyan State through its army, security forces, militia and mercenaries, of the following provisions of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and of the Convention for the Elimination of Mercenarism in Africa:

Article 4 of the Charter

Human beings are inviolable.  Every human being shall be entitled to respect for his life and the integrity of his person.  No one may be arbitrarily deprived of this right.

Article 6 of the Charter

Every individual shall have the right to liberty and to the security of his person.  No one may be deprived of his freedom except for reasons and conditions previously laid down by law.  In particular, no one may be arbitrarily arrested or detained.

Article 11 of the Charter

Every individual shall have the right to assemble freely with others.  The exercise of this right shall be subject only to necessary restrictions provided for by law, in particular those enacted in the interest of national security, the safety, health, ethics and rights and freedoms of others.

Article 23 of the Charter

All peoples shall have the right to national and international peace and security.

Article 5 of the Convention on the Elimination of Mercenarism in Africa

When the representative of a State is responsible, by virtue of the provisions of Article 1 of this Convention, for acts or omissions declared by the aforesaid article to be criminal, he shall be punished for such an act or omission. 

When a State is responsible by virtue of the provisions of Article 1 of this Convention for acts or omissions, declared by the aforesaid article to be criminal, any other State may invoke such responsibility:

a.     In its relations with the State responsible, and

b.     Before competent tribunals or bodies of international organizations or of the OAU.

5.     Need for urgent processing of the communication

In view of the bloody confrontations currently going on in Libya and the increasingly numerous loss of life arising there from, FIDH and LLHR submit that this communication should be treated with the utmost urgency by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

Accordingly, in conformity with Rule 119.4 of the Interim Rules of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights our organizations are of the view that the Commission should refer this Application to the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights considering that the situation brought to its knowledge amounts to serious and massive violation of human rights and that Libya is a State Party to the Protocol to the African Charter regarding the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

6.     Admissibility of the Application

The condition requiring the prior exhaustion of local remedies (Article 56 of the African Charter) before an application is deemed admissible carries exceptions raised on several occasions in the jurisprudence of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

This is the case inter alia in a decision on applications 25/89, 47/90, 56/91 and 103/93 against Zaire in regard to serious and widespread violations of human rights in that country; the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights had affirmed in that regard that “the Commission had never held that the condition requiring the exhaustion of local remedies would apply to the letter when it was neither practicable nor desirable for the complainant to seize domestic tribunals in the case of each violation”.

In light of the confrontations currently occurring in the country and the serious and massive violations of human rights and the obvious ineffectiveness of the process of appeal, this communication should be considered as admissible.

           

Done in Paris, 2 March 2011

 

For IFHR                                                                    For LLHR

 

(Signed)  _____________________                     (Signed)  ____________________

                           Souhayr BELHASSEN                                             Slimane BOUCHIGUIR

                President                                                                    Secretary General

 

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