The spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Elizabeth Throssell, has expressed deep concern about the mounting threats that face the population of Derna.
In a statement issued Friday, June 8, Throssell referred to concerns regarding alleged incidents involving the arbitrary arrest and detention of civilians while others were prevented from leaving the city.
She also raised concerns about the humanitarian situation of civilians caught in the fighting, with shortages of food, water, and medicine, in addition to the closing of the only hospital in the city, pointing out that the UHCHR has documented at least the deaths of three women as a result of the lack of oxygen supplies.
"Our concern for civilians and fighters who have surrendered, laid down their weapons, are sick or wounded, or otherwise hors de combat is all the greater given the serious violations of human rights law and international humanitarian law that we documented during fighting for control of the eastern oil crescent and in parts of the city of Benghazi, both in early 2017," Throssell explained in the statement.
She urged all parties to take all possible measures to ensure the security of civilians and to guarantee a safe passage to those who wish to leave including medical evacuations to the wounded.
"All commanders should take effective steps to ensure that their forces comply with their obligations under international law", Throssell stressed, underlining that the population of Derna must be protected and treated with dignity and respect.