Seminar in Geneva review Tawergha tragedy, Qatar's violations of Libya's sovereignty - Egypt Today Seminar in Geneva review Tawergha tragedy, Qatar's violations of Libya's sovereignty - Egypt Today

Seminar in Geneva reviews Tawergha tragedy, Qatar's violations of Libya's sovereignty

Thu, Sep. 13, 2018
GENEVA – 13 September 2018: Serag Shabaan, lawyer of the victims residing in the Libyan city of Tawergha, revealed Thursday during a seminar in Geneva, held on the margins of the 39th Session of the International Council for Human Rights, that the Libyan town suffered much humanitarian disasters since 2011, stating that the biggest disaster of all was the deliberate silence of the international community and human rights organizations in the face of the violence against the residents of the city.

As of 2011, Tawargha, a mere 38 kilometers from the city of Misrata—one of the main, if not the main, strong hold for Libyan ex-President Muammar Gaddafi, has become known as a ghost town after witnessing mass violence. The town came to witness gross violations on children, men, women and the elderly, in several forms from torture to murder to unlawful imprisonment at the hands of the armed militias backed by Qatar, explained Shabaan.

Shabaan has also pointed out, in a speech read on his behalf by Said Abdel Hafez, Chairperson of the Forum for Development and Human Rights Dialogue, during a seminar—chaired by Maya Morsi, President of the National Council of Women (NCW)—on the rights on women in Egypt, Qatar and Bahrain, “We only want the return of the people of Tawergha to their homes; we want them to be able to exercise their legitimate rights, guaranteed by international charters and conventions; and we want to call on the international community to stop Qatar and force it stop interfering by providing logistical support to the armed militias.”

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Seminar in Geneva review Tawergha tragedy, Qatar's violations of Libya's sovereignty - Egypt Today

After delivering the speech, Abdel Hafez pointed out that the Forum wished for Shabaan to be present with them on this important day, describing him as one of the people of Tawergha and voice of the victims to international organizations and the international community. Shabaan took it upon himself to show the tragedy suffered by residents of Tawergha, expressed Abel Hafez.

Seconding calls to ensure that the rights of those in Libya are protected, journalist Magdy Helmy stressed that the international community has stood idle in front of the atrocities taking place in Libya and that they have been silent—without an active voice, despite the dreadful human rights violations that are occurring systematically there against civilians.

Helmy also pointed out that the international community, especially Europe, are only concerned with the issue of illegal immigration, however, they tend to overlook, or perhaps ignore, human rights violations carried out on civilians and citizens in Libya.

Importantly, he also stressed that the conflict in Libya is no longer within the state borders and is no longer contains, suggested that it has extended from an internal conflict, causing threat within, to a threat to neighbouring states and the Mediterranean region. He went on to call on civil society to help put an end to this violence before it results in a major humanitarian disaster.

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Seminar in Geneva review Tawergha tragedy, Qatar's violations of Libya's sovereignty - Egypt Today

In similar vein, Mahmoud Basouni, researcher and editor-in-chief of Mobtada website, said that terrorist organizations and groups have transformed Libya from a functioning, whole society to a one with deep divides and fragmentations; from a country to debris. This has enabled and led to a vicious cycle of violence against civilians.

“The clause no. 3 (W) of the General Assembly Decision no. 51/210, dated December 17, 1996, calls all states to take steps using all suitable internal direct and indirect means to stop and prohibit funding and supporting terrorists and terroristic organizations by charity, social or cultural organizations, in addition to organizations working in illegal activities such as illegal trafficking of weapons, drugs and money extortion, including the exploitation of some people for purposes of funding terroristic activities and thinking of, when necessary, approving organizational procedures to prevent the transactions of suspected funds as being transacted for terroristic acts and addressing these transactions,” said Basouni.

Basouni further pointed towards the existence of a strategy implemented by Qatar to support these organizations and exploit them to intervene in the Libyan affairs and to ensure that the divisions within the Libyan society continue to exist.

He also explained that Qatar has turned Libya into a center for harbouring and training terrorist, presenting a direct threat to Egypt, the region and southern Europe.

Qatar violating of Libyan sovereignty from the beginning

On March 17, 2011, the UNSC passed Resolution 1973, authorizing member states to take “all necessary measures” to ensure the protection of “civilians and civilian-populated areas” (UNSC Doc. S/RES/1973, 2011). Thus, there was a legitimate U.N. resolution permitting intervention, which was enacted in direct response to the strong presumption that Gaddafi loyalists were going to massacre the people of Benghazi (UNSC Doc. S/RES/1973, 2011). However, on the same day that Resolution 1973 was passed, The Wall Street Journal reported: “Qatari flags fly[ing] prominently in rebel-held Benghazi.”

In addition, there is solid evidence that Qatar illegally intervened in Libya. Resolution 1973 clearly states that member states that intervene must keep in mind “Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter,” which affirms non-intervention in a sovereign state (United Nations, 1945). However, Qatari Chief of Staff, Major General Hamad Bin Ali, pointed out in an interview with Saudi state media (Al-Arabiya) October 26, 2011, “[Qataris] were among [Libyan rebels] and the numbers of Qatari on ground were hundreds in every region.”

In fact, in a Aguila Saleh Issa, a Libyan jurist, President of the Libyan House of Representatives since 5 August 2014 and representative of the town of Al Qubbah in Libya, confirmed during an interview with Asharq al-Awsat in March 2018, during his visit to Riyadh to met with Chairman of Saudi Shura Council Sheikh Abdullah al-Sheikh, that Qatar and Turkey have violated Libya's sovereignty and supported terrorist military factions.

“We wished our Qatari brothers had supported Libya, and were neutral.”

“The Speaker also accused Turkey of arming terrorist groups, the last of which was revealed in Greece trying to smuggle 29 containers full of weapons and explosives to Libya,” writes Asharq al-Awsat.




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