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The internal conflict between different ethnic and religious groups has created a climate of exceptional and alarming violence in the country. Members of militias, armed groups and security forces have committed serious violations of international humanitarian law, including war crimes, thus preventing Libya from complying with the Convention Against Torture. Militias, armed groups and security forces have also arbitrarily detained thousands of people, most of them indefinitely, without any judicial process. They have taken hostages for ransom or to obtain the release of detained or captive people.
Torture is a widespread practice in prisons and detention centres. Militias, armed groups and security forces suppress freedom of expression by harassing, abducting and attacking politicians, journalists and human rights defenders. The Libyan authorities fail to protect women from gender-based violence committed by members of militias or armed groups. Additionally, lawyers and judges are subjected to intimidation, threats and violence by armed groups and militias, seriously weakening the justice system.
Another challenge faced by Libya is the situation of the thousands of migrants, refugees or asylum seekers in the country who are the target of arbitrary arrests or abductions by militias, and victims of human trafficking and violence by criminal groups. The authorities continue to illegally detain thousands of men and women in centers where they are subject to exploitation and forced labour. Torture and other forms of ill-treatment, including rape, are also commonly used in these centres, often to extract money from families in exchange for their release. The OMCT often publishes urgent appeals on Libya, including for the release of human rights defenders arbitrarily detained.