'Transitional Justice Needs in Libya': LWPP & the ICJ hold a Webinar coinciding with the 1st Anniversary of Hanan Al-Barassi's Assassination
Yesterday marked the first anniversary of Hanan Al-Barassi's assassination, Hanan, a lawyer and political activist, was murdered on November 10th 2020. Al Barassi's murder follows disturbing pattern in recent years of violent attacks against prominent women - who are critical of the authorities and affiliated militias. Her killing was an act that underlined a downwards spiral in security for women activists and human rights defenders to date. An act that has reinforced the climate of impunity for violence against women who dared to speak out. A year has passed since her assiassination and an independent, impartial and effective investigation has yet to be conducted into the killing to bring those responsible to justice.
So far, no one has been held accountable. No justice for Hanan and the many, many other silenced women.
The 1st anniversary of Hanan Al-Barassi's assassination coincided with the Webinar held by LWPP and the ICJ on "Transitional Justice Needs in Libya" discussing the legal, political, social and cultural security challenges it faces in Libya today.
Speakers included: Marwan Tashani - ICJ Commissioner, human rights expert and researcher, Jazia Sheitier - Deputy Director of the Center for Law and Society at the University of Benghazi, Dr. Ahmed Jehani - Former Minister of Stability and Reconstruction and an economic, legal and international expert.
Also, making a heartfelt testimony to conclude the Webinar was Jihan El Kikhia, a family victim of forcible disappearance and daughter of leading opposition leader, Mansur Rashid El Kikhia. Kikhia was the former foreign minister of Libya, ambassador to the United Nations, and a human rights lawyer. He lead opposition against Gaddafi's regime and protested against the policies of summary executions practiced by the Libyan government at the time through the so-called revolutionary committees. Kikhia stood up for his principles and defended prisoners rights despite the risk. He disappeared in 1993 & his body was discovered in 2012.
It has become evident through the vicious, never-ending cycle of impunity for crimes in Libya that while reconciliation may be an element of transitional justice, it can never trump the need for accountability, truth and reparations for gross human rights violations. In fact, time has shown that overlooking the necessity for justice in the interests of “peace” has compromised both justice and peace.
Indisputably, there can be no meaningful democratic transition in Libya until the basic security and human rights of the population are guaranteed.