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UN ‘deeply concerned’ at arrests, abductions in Libya

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UN ‘deeply concerned’ at arrests, abductions in Libya

Tripoli: The United Nations mission in Libya said on Wednesday it is “deeply concerned” at a spike in abductions, disappearances and arbitrary arrests of activists and reporters in the war-torn country since fighting broke out in the capital, Tripoli, in early April.

Taking hostages during a conflict is a violation of international humanitarian law and may amount to a war crime, Unsmil said in a statement that urged all sides the conflict to immediately release anyone arbitrarily arrested and detained.

“The Mission reminds all parties to the conflict that they must adhere to human rights and rule of law obligations.

“All authorities must operate under the rule of law and ensure that arrests and detention fully comply with due process, the statement said.

At least seven officials and employees were arbitrarily detained or kidnapped in the east and in the west of the country, the statement said, noting the cases signal a deterioration of the rule of law in Libya.

“The fate of all these victims remains unknown, and there may be others who have disappeared under similar circumstances,” said the statement.

Unsmil said journalists also continue to face increasing threats, intimidation and violence, often in connection with reporting on the warfare in Tripoli that began on April 5 when eastern renegade commander Khalifa Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army entered the capital.

The fate of the two journalists working for the Doha-based Libya Al-Ahrar TV satellite channel who were abducted on May 2 remains unknown, according to the statement.

“Unsmil calls for their immediate unconditional release and safe return to their families,” the statement said.

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