UN decries Libya's alleged crimes against humanity

UN decries Libya's alleged crimes against humanity
© Mahmud Turkia/AFP via Getty Images

Libya has likely committed war crimes and crimes against humanity since 2016, according to United Nations investigators.

The alleged crimes were primarily committed against civilians and migrants who were detained en route to Europe, The Associated Press reported, citing the U.N.'s Human Rights Council report.

The U.N. has released this information amid Libya's recent detention of more than 5,000 migrants, many of whom include women and children. The violence during these unprecedented raids has left at least one migrant dead.

ADVERTISEMENT

Landmines have also killed and maimed many Europe-bound people in Libya, while there has also allegedly been torture in the detention centers, and many prominent women have disappeared.

The list of alleged crimes include: murder, torture, enslavement, extrajudicial executions and rape. 

The Libyan government has had no immediate comment on these findings from the U.N., but has said that the arrests are a security measure to fight against illegal drug trafficking and immigration.

The report of alleged crimes comes from a fact-finding mission commissioned by the United Nations Human Rights Council. The claims could prompt international powers, such as the European Union, to reevaluate policies involving Libya, including support of particular war parties, the AP noted.

Libya has been the dominant transit point for migrants who are fleeing poverty and war in Africa and the Middle East and have hopes for a better life in Europe. The sheer number of migrants and the lack of government stability has lead to countless abuses in the detention centers, according to migrants who do make it out of these centers.

Libya has faced instability and political unrest since the fall of its former authoritarian leader Moammar Gadhafi 10 years ago. The country's political allegiances have been split between armed groups in the country's east and west ever since Gadhafi's fall.