Amnesty International urges for protection of electoral process in Libya

Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Diana Eltahawy, considered that establishing an electoral environment in Libya free of violence and intimidation; is almost impossible, given the impunity of armed groups and their incorporation into state institutions without any removal of those responsible for crimes under international law.

Eltahawy believed that the government and armed forces should alert all affiliated armed groups to end their harassment of election officials, judges, and security personnel, in addition to releasing all those arrested for expressing their opinion in the elections.

She listed a number of facts that she said constituted a threat to the electoral process, including the raiding of at least four offices of the High National Elections Commission and the looting of voting cards from them, in addition to the siege of the Sabha Court and the arrest of at least 21 demonstrators, journalists and activists in several cities, including Tripoli, Benghazi, Misrata and Ajdabiya.

Eltahawy pointed out that it is necessary for all officials to ensure that all candidates, voters, activists and politicians are protected from violence, threats and arbitrary detention, noting that women must be protected from sexual assaults and that civil society actors are allowed to express their views and participate in the electoral process without fear of revenge.

She added that the Libyan authorities should use the postponed elections as an opportunity to break the cycle of impunity and ensure that those suspected of crimes under international law are excluded from jobs that would allow them to commit further abuses, interfere with investigations or grant them immunity.

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