It isn’t for a lack of attention. Violence in Libya is covered almost daily in major newspapers and media outlets. Attacks on migrant camps, wanton executions of political prisoners (filmed a disseminated on social media), the thousands of refugees and asylum seekers perishing in the Mediterranean, and other acts of barbarity and violence, are widely known. Dozens of reports have been published on the subject, highlighting high levels of criminality, a widespread culture of impunity for international crimes, and a lack of recourse for those who seek accountability.
Yet there is no justice for these atrocities. There is no accountability for atrocities and human rights violations committed in Libya.
This status quo has resulted in the deaths and abuse of thousands of civilians. Many have demanded action and an end to impunity. But how can this be achieved? What options for justice and accountability are available and which would most appropriately address atrocities of the past and those that continue to be perpetrated?
Over the next week, JiC and Opinio Juris will host a symposium that delves into these questions and sheds light on ongoing atrocities and political violence waged in Libya. Contributors will outline why Libya finds itself in the violent political quagmire that it is in today. Options for justice that will explored include the creation of an independent investigative mechanism, additional action by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the country, and political accountability for those entities and states that support actors on the ground known to commit international and transnational organized crimes. The pieces will explore what Libyan groups and factions as well as the international community can do to address injustices and how justice and accountability need to be prioritized if a sustainable solution to ongoing conflict in Libya is to be found.
Expert contributors to the symposium include:
- Kate Vigneswaran and Vito Todeschini: The Quest for Accountability in Libya: A Pressing but Neglected Concern
- Mary Fitzgerald: Libya and International Justice Symposium: Justice Delayed, A Promise Betrayed?
- Marieke Wierda, It is More Dangerous than Ever: Chaos and Vigilante Justice in Libya
- Mark Kersten, Pandora’s Box: What, if anything, can the ICC do for Libya?
- Marwa Mohammed, The EU is Also Responsible for the Death of Migrants and Refugees in Libya
- Salah el-Marghani, Lost Justice: Across the Libyan desert, Shores and Depths of Central Mediterranean
- Hanan Salah, Libya and International Justice Symposium: Justice, Delayed
- Jeremie Smith and Karim Salem, Impunity Begets Impunity
Some posts will be available at both JiC and Opinio Juris, but the majority of the pieces will be posted at one or the other, so make sure to check in at both.
Of course, and as always, please do share your thoughts and views in the comment sections of the blog, on Twitter, or any other social media you use.
Are you even going to address the lies promoted by the West to justify the war that created the current situation? As even the UK govt committee on Libya found, there was no threat to Benghazi and lies like the Viagra rape stories were entirely manufactured to promote the war. What about arms and military support the West provided to jihadists and the long term support for the Al Qaeda linked Libyan Islamic Fighting Group by the UK govt? The Responsibility to Protect law was clearly abused and civilian infrastructure was deliberately targeted in contravention of international law – the latter clearly contributing to post war suffering and instability. Without addressing these issues the discussion will only serve to promote more illegal, destabilising military interventions.