Amnesty International calls on Haftar to end siege and protect civilians in Derna

Amnesty International calls on Haftar to end siege and protect civilians in Derna

June 11, 2018 - 21:45
Posted in:
Written By: AbdulkaderAssad

Amnesty International said it had received alarming reports from individuals from inside Derna saying that Haftar’s forces are deliberately blocking any aid from entering the city, as well as blocking the exit of those seeking permission to leave to access care outside Derna.

Amnesty International has called on the commander of the self-styled army Khalifa Haftar and all parties involved in the fighting in Derna to urgently open humanitarian corridors to give impartial assistance and save the lives of civilians still trapped in the city as this forces advance.

“We are receiving horrifying reports from Derna, where a prolonged siege and heavy fighting have left the city on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe." Said Heba Morayef, Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International.

She added in a report on Monday that Haftar's blockade tactics are being used to cause unnecessary suffering to ordinary men, women and children, who are now surrounded, with dwindling food, water and medical supplies, and no way out of this desperate situation.

Morayef added that given the escalation of military action done by the so-called army, all the parties have an obligation under international humanitarian law to facilitate unimpeded access for impartial humanitarian relief, including medical supplies and food, and to allow civilians to flee the fighting without fear of arbitrary detention, harassment, intimidation and unlawful killings.

Amnesty International said it had received alarming reports from individuals from inside Derna saying that Haftar’s forces are deliberately blocking any aid from entering the city, as well as blocking the exit of those seeking permission to leave to access care outside Derna.

“Residents say they fear trying to flee from the city because the LNA is known to profile, arbitrarily detain and disappear people they perceive as opponents, especially young men.” The human rights group reported.

Derna has been under a fierce military operation since last May with the forces led by Haftar advancing on the city causing numerous deaths and injuries among civilians and a wave of displacement along the way.

The UN Security Council called last week on all parties of the fighting in Derna to protect civilians and exercise restraint.

Meanwhile, many Libyans took to the Tripoli Martyrs Square on Monday protesting the war on Derna and the silence of the official authorities in Tripoli: Presidential Council and others.