Rights lawyer wants Qatar to pay for its support of armed militias in Libya

JEDDAH: A lawyer representing victims of fighting in the Libyan town of Tawergha is urging the international community to stop Qatar from supporting armed militias behind the violence. 

Siraj al-Tawerghi said that Tawergha, now a ghost town in the city Misrata, has been witnessing a humanitarian tragedy since 2011, and the biggest tragedy is the deliberate silence of international bodies and human rights organizations even though cases of abuse against Tawergha inhabitants have been documented.

Such cases include forced displacement, widespread violation of its children’s rights to decent living, education and health, and the violation of their right to be protected from torture, murder and unlawful imprisonment by armed militias backed by Qatar, he said.

“We only want to bring the people of Tawergha back to their homes and exercise their legitimate rights guaranteed by international agreements and conventions,” Al-Tawerghi said during a speech at a  symposium in Geneva on the sidelines of the 39th session of the International Council of Human Rights. 

He spoke on behalf of Said Abdel Hafez, president of the Forum for Development and Human Rights Dialogue.

Al-Tawergi lamented that “the international community is tight-lipped about the human rights issue in Libya, despite the fact that this country is witnessing the most egregious violations perpetrated systematically by terrorist organizations and affecting civilian victims.”

He pointed out that the international community, especially Europe, is concerned only with the issue of illegal immigration, whereas no one shows solidarity with citizens and residents on Libyan territory who are suffering from violations of human rights.

“We have all the evidence and documents condemning the interference of Qatar and Turkey in Libyan affairs. The day will come when we will bring all those involved for trial,” Al-Tawerghi said.

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