Norway would like to express recognition to the Libyan National Transition Council and to the New Interim Government for positive developments in the country since the day of Liberation on 23 October. Libya has embarked on a transitional process away from dictatorship and brutal oppression towards a democratic country where inclusiveness, equality and accountability are core values.
The report of the International Commissions of Inquiry on Libya concludes that international crimes and widespread human rights abuses were committed by Gaddafi forces. Acts of murder, enforced disappearance and torture were perpetrated within the context of a widespread violation.
We acknowledge the difficult times ahead for the new Libyan leadership in rebuilding a country based on a new set of values where Libya’s commitment to human rights must be lived up to. This must be fully reflected and integrated in the future Constitution of Libya.
Many positive steps have already taken place. The Government’s plans to disarm militias and integrate fighters into the National Army and Policy or into civilian life must continue without delay. We also welcome a gradual undertaking of responsibility regarding detention centers to make sure the detainees are handled pursuant to international human rights law.
Torture and other forms of ill-treatment perpetrated in detention sites must be met with strong condemnations from the Governments side. The reports of ongoing human rights violations, including the allegations of torture, must be investigated and those responsible held to account. Impunity for current violations resulting from a sense of revolutionary legitimacy is dangerous. All such acts must be handled in a swift and consistent manner to demonstrate clear leadership and the break with the Gaddafi legacy.
Minorities are particularly vulnerable in times of social and political turmoil. Protection for minorities must be ensured and safeguards must be put into place through law and practice. The national reconciliation congress in Misrata on February 24 was a promising first step in this regard (bringing more than 200 representatives from various monitories together). Furthermore, the rights of the Tawerghas must also be provided for.
We underline the importance of including women in all stages of Libya’s transition, and to make sure women are mobilized and empowered to take a responsibility as citizens. The elections in June will be an important milestone to demonstrate such a goal.
Norway will assist Libya on its path towards democracy and support a coordinated role undertaken by the UN.
Finally, we have made available all funds previously frozen in Norway and would urge the Government to allocate some funds for establishing an independent judiciary.
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