By David Hammond in Tripoli, 12:22 GMT 16 November 2013
First interview with Mr Faraj Al-Elajely, Deputy Executive and Director of International Co-operation, National Council for Civil Liberties and Human Rights over the killings in Gharghur District.
The events of yesterday (15 November 2013) in Tripoli, where it has been reported that there has been at least 40 people killed and more than 235 injured when demonstrators had marched to the headquarters of the Gharghur militia to demand that it leave Tripoli, were witnessed by senior members of the Libyan National Council for Civil Liberties and Human Rights (NCCLHR).
The civil pressure as against the militias to disband have been growing and yesterday’s events were condemned by the NCCLHR as a breach of the rule of law and a crime against the Libyan population, who have the right of free speech, assembly and demonstration.
Mr Faraj Al-Elajely, Deputy Executive and Director of International Cooperation and Mr Waleed Kaawan, the Executive Director General of the NCCLHR, attended the demonstrations to speak with the people late last night.
Mr Al-Elajely stated that “the National Council stands next to the Libyan people in the street to protect their civil rights and freedoms“. The fact that the demonstrators faced armed action against what were unarmed civilians expressing the right of demonstration and free speech “was a tradgey and will lead to more killing “.
The issue of the rule of law and security is at the forefront of the Libyan’s minds, as well as the international community. Mr Al-Elajely stated that “the Libyan General National Congress must now respond quickly. It must uphold the law and must punish the offenders within the law“. He further went on to state that the National Council for Civil Liberties and Human Rights will formally follow up the incident and support the Government where it is able, as they work together to strengthen the rule of law throughout Libya.
Reminiscing, Mr Al-Elajely said “This makes us remember the first day of the Revolution, where the Libyan people faced the former regime, paying a great personal price to stop such persecution and control by the others. This must not be repeated“.
The NCCLHR is supporting all efforts to clear all Libya of all weapons, including those held by the militia, while ensuring that the civil society is protected by the State and its legitimate authority.
Mr Al-Elajely was clear that there must be no change or threat to be allowed to build as against the “new Libyan State, the rule of law, the establishment of civil society and all the legitimate supporting institutions“. He was also clear that the solution “is with the Libyan people, led by the State and for all to sit down around the table to provide a solution, without further delay“.
The National Council have release a statement of condemnation.
David Hammond is the instructed UK Counsel to the Libyan NCCLHR and is working to develop Human Rights frameworks in Libya.
Also see: UNIVERSITY of EXETER United Kingdom blog: Dr Andrew Rathmell. Libya: How to build a Stateless State.