Justice for Salwa: Libya's Elections a Chance for National Reconciliation and Justice
Commemoration of the 7th Anniversary of Salwa Bughaighis's Assassination

ناضل سلمياً بمشاركة صوتك الانتخابي سلوى بوقعيقيص في 25 يونيو 2014 ، دعت الناشطة الحقوقية سلوى بوقعيقيص الليبيين إلى الإدلاء بأصواتهم في صناديق الاقتراع. بعد ساعات ، عندما عادت من الإدلاء بصوتها في الانتخابات البرلمانية الأخيرة التي أجريت في ليبيا ، اغتالها مسلحون بالرصاص في منزلها. في الذكرى السابعة لمقتلها ، انضم إلى النشطاء و الحقوقيين من ليبيا ومن جميع أنحاء المنطقة العربية لإحياء ذكرى سلوى والنظر في آفاق حلمها بليبيا سلمية وديمقراطية، وبعين على الانتخابات الوطنية في 24 ديسمبر 2021 لمناقشة التدابير والضمانات المحلية والدولية المطلوبة لانجاح الانتخابات الوطنية لتكون حرة ونزيهة وشاملة.

Posted by ‎Libyan Women's Platform For Peace منبر المرأة الليبية من أجل السلام‎ on Friday, June 25, 2021

Libya’s elections in December must mark the beginning of the process towards peace and democratization - a fitting legacy for the murdered activist Salwa Bugaighis.

Activists and politicians from Libya, the Arab region and Europe joined a televised meeting to pay tribute to Salwa Bugaighis on the seventh anniversary of her murder on 25 June 2021. 

With the announcement of the Transitional Government of National Unity (GNU) and Berlin II Conference, Libya is heading towards presidential and parliamentary elections on December 24, 2021 pursuant to the Roadmap established by the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LDPF) and security council resolution 2570. Although many unanswered questions regarding the management of an electoral process in Libya remain, the momentum for elections appears to be strong. Libyans are anxious to select their legitimate representatives to move one step closer to a stable and prosperous Libya.  

With these promising developments, Karama and the Libyan Women’s Platform for Peace organized a roundtable to reflect on progress. Representatives from the LDPF, women human rights activists, civil society and jurists discussed their concerns, priorities and expectations of what is considered as key in order to hold successful inclusive, free and fair elections which can contribute to a stabilization of the country.

The event was held to commemorate Salwa Bugaighis, lawyer, politician and human rights activist murdered after she cast her vote on the day of the last parliamentary elections to be held in Libya. It was an act that underlined a downwards spiral in security for women activists and human rights defenders to date, and a vicious cycle of impunity for crimes targeting women politicians and human rights defenders. Next month will see the commemoration of the assassination of former Derna House of Representatives member Fariha Al-Berkaw and the violently abduction of the member of Parliament Siham Sergewa from her home in the heavily fortified district of Buhedima in Benghazi. All of this have reinforced the climate of impunity for violence against women who dared to speak out, forcing many to retreat from public life and flee the country. 

Seven years later, no one has been held accountable. No justice for these  women and other silenced women.

Charting the way ahead for inclusive, credible elections, the participants recommended the following:

1. Ensuring inclusive constitutional rule and electoral legislations issued by the LPDF and adopted by the HoR on time. The electoral legislation should ensure 30% at least representation of women and the participation and representation of IDPs and cultural minorities.

2. Holding spoilers accountable. Imposing sanctions on spoilers of the political process who obstruct the electoral process pursuant to Security Council Resolution 2570.  

3. Monitoring the elections by representatives of regional and international organizations such as the EU and the Afrcan Union is crucial to ensuring that the elections are credible and transparent.

4. Holding a National Reconciliation Forum in July. The National Reconciliation Forum should bring together key social and political stakeholders. This should be meshed with formulating a national charter which will secure the buy-in of all the stakeholders and accepting the outcome of the elections.