Libya - Towards a bloody revolution

Press release
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February Friday 18, 2011 - The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the Libyan League for Human Rights (LLH) strongly condemn the violent crackdown by security forces against the opponents of the Libyan regime who have been protesting in cities across the country since Tuesday, February 15, 2011 .

This violent repression has resulted in at least 30 dead and dozens wounded in north-eastern Libya, according to information gathered by human rights organizations. The number of dead and wounded is difficult to confirm as human rights defenders, forced into exile, have to work from abroad and Libya remains largely closed to foreign media and international human rights organizations.

The "day of anger" on February 17, the anniversary of an earlier event which had caused 12 fatalities in 2006, has resulted in violent confrontations between the regime’s opponents, who call for the establishment of a constitution and the rule of law in the country, and security forces which did not hesitate to fire live ammunition.

Militia and groups pro-Gaddafi groups, armed with knives, have also participated in the repression. The revolutionary committees, pillars of the regime of Muammar Gaddafi have threatened with violent retaliation those who call into question the principles of the Libyan revolution.

In addition, according to reports, the injured are being denied access to hospitals and ambulance transport. Blood transfusions are even being forbidden to people who took part in the demonstrations.

Moreover, hundreds of journalists and political opponents were arbitrarily arrested and detained by the Libyan security forces in the wake of these events.

FIDH and LLH condemn the disproportionate and excessive use of force and fear that the situation is getting worse.

FIDH and LLH call on the security forces to immediately stop firing live ammunition against demonstrators. Our organizations urge the Libyan government to release those detained arbitrarily and call upon the authorities to respect freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly.

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