UN raises concerns over Libya's militias

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UN raises concerns over Libya's militias

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Libyan militias remain heavily armed, uncontrolled and continue to detain Muammar Gaddafi loyalists.

That was the message given to the UN Security Council in a session assessing the current situation in the country.

Revolutionary forces were believed to have been responsible for recent fatal clashes in Tripoli, Bani Walid and Benghazi.

Concern was also raised over some 8,000 prisoners held by militias amid reports of torture.

Navi Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights gave her view of the current situation in Libya:

“The interim government still does not exercise effective control over the revolutionary brigades. Light and heavy weaponry in the hands of these brigades pose a threat to public security and the protection of the human rights of the population.

“A related area that I am extremely concerned about is the conditions of detention and treatment of detainees held by various revolutionary brigades.”

Many of those being held are from sub-Saharan Africa. Gaddafi employed hundreds of mercenaries from the region. Legitimate immigrants previously working in the country may also be being held.

The UN called for all unauthorised detention centres to be brought under control of Libya’s Ministry of Justice and all detainees to be screened.