Libya’s outgoing foreign minister Najla Mangoush has accused Amnesty International, a renowned humanitarian NGO, of “promoting atheism and homosexuality” after the latter reported on the human rights violations and abuses committed by the so-called Stability Support Authority, a militia affiliated with the government of Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh.
On Thursday, the foreign ministry released a statement describing the Amnesty International report as a “blatant politicization and unjustified escalation”. The Mangoush-led ministry criticized the NGO for “misuse of cooperation” between the two of them while claiming that Amnesty International did not meet with any state security representatives.
“This organization did not conduct any visits to the aforementioned security services and did not inquire from them about any violations or activities they carried out before preparing the report,” claimed the Libyan foreign ministry.
“We consider it a continuation of the systematic prejudice that has been going on for years against the interests of the Libyan state,” it added.
“Upon its visit to the country, that organization did not provide any evidence of its allegations and did not inquire from the government before writing the report,” alleged the ministry.
The ministry went on to accuse Amnesty International of attempts to “spread ideas and beliefs that affect the social security of the Libyan state, by promoting atheism and homosexuality, and this is all proven by the evidence of the competent security services within the state”.
Published on May 4th, the Amnesty International report detailed crimes and abuses committed by the Dbeibeh-backed Stability Support Authority, which the NGO referred to as a “militia” in its report. Amnesty International specifically accused Abdel Ghani al-Kikli, known as “Gheniwa”, who commands Stability Support Authority, of being involved in “horrific crimes – whether against migrants and refugees or Libyans”.
Amnesty International said it wrote to the Libyan authorities on the complaints received against Abdel Ghani al-Kikli and his former deputy Lotfi al-Harari on 19 April 2022. However, according to the organization, “no response was received in time for publication [of the report]”. On the other hand, the Libyan foreign ministry claimed that the NGO did not provide any evidence of al-Kikli’s crimes.
“The Government of National Unity is still awaiting evidence from Amnesty International that the security services were involved in the operations alleged in the report,” the ministry said before threatening to “take measures against the organization, including filing lawsuits, if the members of its delegation were not punished for taking other paths for their mission”.