UNSMIL Statement on the Protests in al-Marj City on 12 September 2020

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13 September 2020 - UNSMIL expresses grave concern regarding reports that one civilian was killed, three were injured, and a number of other demonstrators were arrested on 12 September following the reported excessive use of force by eastern authorities against peaceful demonstrators in the city of al-Marj. UNSMIL calls for a thorough and immediate investigation into these incidents and for the speedy release of all those arbitrarily arrested and detained.

UNSMIL reminds all parties in Libya that the rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression are fundamental human rights and fall within Libya’s obligations under international human rights law.

These demonstrations, and those witnessed of late in other parts of Libya, are motivated by deep-seated frustrations about sustained poor living conditions, shortages of electricity and water, rampant corruption, misgovernance, and a lack of service provision throughout the country. They underscore the urgent need to lift the oil blockade and return to a full and inclusive political process that will meet the aspirations of the Libyan people for representative government, dignity, and peace.