Today, 17th November 2011, the Independent Civil
Society Mission to Libya begins its work. The Mission is organised by the Arab
Organization for Human Rights (AOHR), and the Palestinian Centre for Human
Rights (PCHR). The Mission consists of two components: a Fact-Finding Mission,
and a Training Team; it will remain in Libya until 24th November.


The Independent Civil
Society Fact-Finding Mission to Libya


The Independent Civil Society Fact-Finding Mission
to Libya is organised in conjunction with PCHR, AOHR, and the International
Legal Aid Consortium (ILAC). It has three principal subjects for investigation:
suspected violations of international law committed by the former-Qadaffi
government; by the current government and associated groups since 17 February
2011; and by NATO forces. It will visit a number of key sites throughout Libya,
including Tripoli, Benghazi, Misrata, Ajdabiya, Sirte, and the Nafusa


The Fact-Finding Mission is composed of a number of
leading lawyers and jurists with expertise in international human rights law,
international criminal law, and the law of armed conflict. Its members include:
Raji Sourani, Dr. Ameen Mekki Madani, Mohsin Awad, Ameena Abu Aish, Agnetta
Johansson, William Meryer, and Daragh Murray. While in Libya the Mission will
meet with victims, members of the current and former armed forces, prisoners,
witnesses, civil society, the Libyan Bar Association, and the political
establishment. It is mandated to investigate potential violations of
international human rights law, war crimes, and crimes against humanity
committed by all parties.


The Training Team


The Training Team comprises the second component of the
Mission. It will target members of civil society, lawyers, and the judiciary.
In its current phase, two three-day training sessions will be conducted,
concentrating on issues such as documentation, case-file preparation,
international human rights law, international human rights mechanisms,
international advocacy, and international mechanisms of criminal justice. A key
feature of the sessions will also be the incorporation of international
standards into domestic legislation, and the role of accountability and
transparency in ensuring the rule of law.


The Independent Civil Society Mission builds on
initial training sessions conducted by PCHR and AOHR in Cairo in June. These
sessions were attended by human rights defenders from Libya, Syria, and Yemen.



Members of the Mission


· Raji Sourani is a lawyer, and Director of PCHR;

·    Dr. Ameen Mekki Madani is a prominent lawyer from Sudan, and former
President of the Arab Organization for Human Rights;

· Mohsin Awad is former Secretary-General of the Arab Organization for
Human Rights, a member of the Egyptian Human Rights Council, and a prominent
human rights activists and researcher;

· Ameena Abu Aish is president of the Moroccan Organization for Human

· Agnetta Johansson is a lawyer and Deputy Director of the International
Legal Aid Consortium;

· William Meryer is a lawyer and former president of the International
Legal Aid Consortium;

· Daragh Murray is a Government of Ireland IRCHSS Scholar, and
International Legal Officer at PCHR.