Statement on the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ Negligence and Use of Force to Disperse Refugee Protests in Libya

We, the Belaady Organization for Human Rights, express our deep concern and anger regarding the clear shortcomings and negligence displayed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Libya. It has reached a level of failure in protecting human rights that is unjustifiable and unacceptable.

The use of force to disperse protests and the authorities’ assault on refugees and asylum seekers is not a first-time occurrence, but rather a repeated and deeply condemned act. This has resulted in the deaths of some individuals and the disappearance of others until now. Is this the level we have reached in protecting refugees’ rights?

We call upon UNHCR to take full responsibility for this appalling negligence and failure to fulfill its mission of protecting refugees’ rights. There is no justification for such gross negligence. The UNHCR must take urgent and effective actions to defend the rights of these vulnerable individuals in need.

We urge UNHCR to strongly negotiate with Libyan authorities or exert pressure on them to ensure the protection of asylum seekers and refugees, as well as accepting valid documentation issued by UNHCR under international protection standards that should be presented as identification cards rather than A4 paper documents. Alternatively, UNHCR should openly declare its complete inability to fulfill its mission and close its offices in Libya. There is no room for hesitation or surrender when it comes to serious violations against refugees’ rights.

We call upon the international community to act immediately and take decisive measures to hold those responsible for this negligence accountable for their actions. We must stand together against anyone who abuses their power at the expense of the weak and needy.