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UN Human Rights Council to send fact-finding mission to Libya over abuses since 2016

The UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution Monday ordering a “fact-finding mission” to Libya in order to document violations and abuses committed in the country since 2016.

The United Nations’ top rights body adopted the resolution without a vote, “strongly (condemning) all acts of violence in Libya”, and urging UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet to “immediately establish and dispatch a fact-finding mission” to the country.

The draft resolution was tabled in March by a group of African countries, but the UN’s top rights body was forced to suspend its main annual session for three months due to the coronavirus crisis, postponing a vote by the 47-member council until Monday.

The council’s 43rd session resumed last week after Switzerland relaxed the measures imposed to halt the spread of COVID-19, and concluded Monday with the Libya resolution the last adopted during the session.

The resolution expressed “concern” at reports of “torture, sexual and gender-based violence and harsh conditions in prisons and detention centres.”

The fact-finding mission experts will be called on, over the next year, to “document alleged violations and abuses of international human rights law and international humanitarian law by all parties in Libya since the beginning of 2016,” the text said.

It called on the experts to present an oral update on their progress to the council in September, followed by a written report next March.

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