Archive for September 9th, 2012

09/09/2012

Libya: Destruction of Sufi Religious Sites, Excessive Force against Unarmed Protesters

Human Wrongs Watch

10 September 2012 – Three United Nations independent experts today strongly condemned the destruction of Sufi religious and historic sites in various parts of Libya, as well as the intimidation and excessive use of force against unarmed protesters opposing the destruction.

A lone protester holds up a placard condemning the destruction of a Sufi shrine in Tripoli as he approaches the site of the demolition. Photo: UNSMIL/I. Athanasiadis

“The attacks on Sufi religious sites require a swift and rigorous response by the authorities, without which they are likely to continue and spread,” according to a joint statement from the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Heiner Bielefeldt; the UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, Farida Shaheed; and the UN Independent Expert on minority issues, Rita Izsák.

“These events amount to the violation of numerous human rights provisions,” they added.

They also urged the Libyan authorities to take all necessary measures to protect places of cultural and religious significance that may also be threatened, and expressed concern at reports that the Libyans authorities did not seek to stop the destruction, the UN reported.

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