Justice absent in Libya, human rights group says

Aug. 8, 2013 at 10:17 AM

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Aug. 8 (UPI) -- Libya hasn't been able to establish a functioning justice system since the collapse of Col. Moammar Gadhafi's regime in 2011, Human Rights Watch said.

The rights group said Thursday it's been able to document more than 50 political assassinations in eastern Libya, including in the volatile city of Benghazi. Human Rights Watch said Libyan authorities have no suspects in custody and have not prosecuted anyone so far as it can determine.

"What started as assassinations of members of the police, internal security apparatus, and military intelligence has been further aggravated by the killing of judges and a political activist," Deputy Director of Middle East and North African programs Joe Stork said in a statement from Beirut. "The failure to hold anyone accountable highlights the government's failure to build a functioning justice system."

Human Rights Watch said it did not include assassinations committed during civil war in 2011. Gadhafi died after falling into rebel hands in late 2011.

The rights group said assassinations have been particular high in Benghazi. The chief of a regional security force was killed there in a car bomb attack in late July.

There have been no claims of responsibility in the political assassinations. CNN reported Tuesday federal authorities filed charges against a Libyan militia leader tied to a September attack on the U.S. consulate, which left the U.S. ambassador and three members of his staff dead in Benghazi.

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