Paris – On Thursday 23 September, 2020, The Francophone Association for Human Rights (AFDH) participated in an online panel discussion about the ongoing killings of civilians and children in Libya.
Hosted by Human Rights Solidarity and the International Institute for Rights and Development, AFDH expressed mounting concerns over the increasing regularity of targeting civilians in Libya and other conflict zones, stating, “All foreign military interventions in conflict zones must cease immediately and all human rights abuses and crimes committed, past and present must be prosecuted.”
The discussion focused specifically on new evidence revealed by the BBC alleging the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) responsibility for the air raid in Tripoli which killed 26 unarmed cadets at Libya’s Military academy on January 4, 2020.
“Libyan civilians are paying the price for proxy war waged in their country by foreign players who are acting with increasing impunity, disregarding human rights and international law,” said Asma ben Hadj Hassen, senior researcher for AFDH.
Jumaa Al-Amami, President of Solidarity for Human Rights, called on the Government of National Accord in Libya to file a lawsuit before the International Court of Justice against the UAE to put an end to its violations against civilians in Libya and stop foreign intervention in Libyan affairs.
During the online discussion, Uthman bin Amara, father of one of the victims of the bombing of the Military Academy said, “My son, Muzaffar joined the Military Academy to contribute to the restructuring of the Libyan army, hoping to be a part of an army of peace, not war” and added, “What happened in the Military Academy is a real massacre, madness and inhuman war waged by the war criminal Haftar and his supporters.”
AFDH’s senior researcher noted the BBC’s investigation materialized through the effort of civil society organizations and families of the victims fighting impunity, exposing war crimes and enlightening the public of what is transpiring in Libya. Ben Hadj Hassen added, “The Human Rights Council sessions currently taking place in Geneva offer an invaluable opportunity for the international community to prove its serious intent of protecting civilians and enforcing human rights and international law.”
AFDH asserts the importance of exposing all war crimes and human rights abuses committed in Libya, as well as the identity of the perpetrators and prosecuting them under international law.