Libya: Hold Perpetrators of Mass Human Rights Violations Accountable


NEW YORK, Feb. 22, 2011—As violence surges in Libya, the African Union, the Arab League and the United Nations must urgently establish investigation mechanisms into the allegations of unlawful killings and other serious violations of international law. Those responsible for planning and ordering these crimes must be held accountable, the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) said today.

“The last several days have seen a gross deterioration during which Libyan security forces have allegedly carried out widespread attacks on their civilian population, attacks which may amount to crimes against humanity. The UN Security Council, the Arab League, and the African Union must rapidly act to formally investigate these allegations and ensure that those responsible are held to account,” said ICTJ president David Tolbert.

While the situation in Libya is swiftly evolving, credible reports from human rights NGOs and the media have indicated that well over 200 people have been killed in recent days. Violence in Tripoli, Benghazi, and elsewhere across the country has escalated as state security forces assault demonstrators calling for reform.

“There must be no impunity for those engaged in the violent repression of fundamental human rights,” Tolbert said. “Justice for these heinous acts is an important first step towards achieving accountability for past abuses, truth, and rule of law. This is a crucial element of the better future which Libyan demonstrators are seeking.”

About ICTJ

The International Center for Transitional Justice works to redress and prevent the most severe violations of human rights by confronting legacies of mass abuse. ICTJ seeks holistic solutions to promote accountability and create just and peaceful societies. For more information, visit


Lisa Jamhoury Communications Associate, New York GMT -5 Tel +1 917 637 3846 Cell +1 917 975 2305