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UN concerned about possible death by torture in Libya

The UN mission to Libya has expressed concerns about the recent deaths of three people being held in detention in the country, saying they may be a result of torture.

In this Saturday, Feb. 24, 2012 photo, illegal African migrants and suspected mercenaries stand in a prison in Gherian, Libya
In this Saturday, Feb. 24, 2012 photo, illegal African migrants and suspected mercenaries stand in a prison in Gherian, Libya
Image: Manu Brabo/AP/Press Association Images

THE UNITED NATIONS’ mission to Libya has expressed concerns about the recent deaths of three people being held in detention in the country, saying that their deaths may be a result of torture.

The detainees died on 13 April at a detention centre in the north-eastern city of Misrata, which is controlled by a committee under the supervision of the Ministry of Interior, according to a statement from the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).

The UNSMIL said that it had raised its concerns with the highest authorities in the country, and also noted the cases of at least seven other people who were reportedly tortured in the same detention facility.

Concerns were raised also about the possibility of secret dention facilities being used to torture detainees.

The UN group has urged the Libyan government to take “immediate and concrete” measures to address the situation and, if the fears are substantiated, to bring those responsible to justice. It welcomed a statement by the Supreme Security Committee of Misrata condemning the abuses.

“UNSMIL acknowledges that progress, albeit slow, has been made in this regard,” it said in the statement. “Nevertheless, with a view to the absolute prohibition of torture under international law, UNSMIL calls upon the Government to make addressing these allegations and practices a top priority in pursuit of a new culture of respect for human rights and the rule of law in post-revolution Libya.”

Read: Former Libyan oil minister found dead in river in Vienna

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