17th session of the Human Rights Council Item 4: Report of the High Commissioner under Human Rights Council resolution S-15/1

Interactive Dialogue

9 June 2011 

Delivered by Renate Bloem


Thank you Mr. President,

Mme High Commissioner, CIVICUS welcomes your detailed update as requested by the resolution of the Special Session on Libya of 25 February, as complimentary information to the report of the Commission on Inquiry (COI). We laud you own continued calls for impartial investigations, protection of journalists and restraint in military interventions during this time. It is surely worthwhile to also recall the legal framework and applicable law both for State and non-State actors.

In this regard CIVICUS wants nevertheless to put the spotlight on the peculiar governance structure of the jamahiriyan system instituted by the Qadhafi regime since its revolution in 1969.  A one man rule using fear, intimidation and incentives based on loyalty without any independent legislative or judiciary institution, nor any independent media. Instead a number of paramilitary and security apparatuses to consolidate a climate of fear, mistrust and submission.

Would it not have been for new technology ICTs, borderless and free, and which the Qadafi regime did probably not yet know to suppress, the people of Libya might not have had the courage to rise up against this dictatorship. When they finally did stand up, how much could and should they have known about international human rights and international humanitarian law when their first peaceful demonstrations were violently suppressed by excessive force, including use of live ammunition by Government forces?

CIVICUS is aware of the tremendous challenges during these times of revolutionary transition; and we reiterate and support your earlier call for staying focused in addressing the root causes which brought the people to the streets, and for establishing transitional justice and an institutional framework in which it can function. In view of the complexity and gravity of the situation in Libya, CIVICUS would support the Commission of Inquiry’s request to the Council to remain seized of the situation by extending the mandate of the COI for more necessary investigations for the period of one year.  I thank you


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