Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] on Sunday criticized [press release] Libya for ongoing lawlessness and impunity for the militias responsible for the systematic executions of Muammar Gaddafi [JURIST backgrounder] and his supporters. HRW further urged the Libyan government and its international allies to create and support a law-abiding state security force and an impartial justice system which applies the law "no matter who the victim and who the perpetrator." Earlier this month HRW requested [JURIST report] that Libya instate a moratorium on capital punishment because of the widespread disarray in the Libyan judicial system.
During the period of time now referred to as "the Arab Spring," countries across the Middle East erupted in protests from citizens demanding an end to oppressive regimes and the beginning of true democracies in their nations. The pro-democracy protests began in Tunisia [JURIST news archive] and spread quickly to Egypt [JURIST backgrounder] and on to Libya and other nations. The recent death sentences come amid debate between the UN and Libya over the proper venue to try Gaddafi-era officials. Libya remains in conflict [JURIST report] with the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] over the trial of Gaddafi's son and the efficacy and fairness of trying him in a Libyan court.