Coalition of Libyan Civil society Organizations (The Platform) Condemns the Forced Disappearance of Ali Zeidan

Press release

The Platform Coalition[1] expresses its full condemnation of the disappearance of the former Prime Minister of Libya, Mr. Ali Zeidan, for the seventh day in a row amidst a shameful silence of the authorities in the city of Tripoli. The platform also demands immediate disclosure of Zeidan's fate and place of detention, in accordance with Libyan law and international agreements, and binding the Libyan state to combat forced disappearances.

According to Zeidan's family, he arrived on Friday (August 11th) at the city of Tripoli. He first stayed at Al-Mahari Hotel and then moved to Victoria Hotel, which is guarded by Presidency Council forces, but disappeared along with his escort Mr. Mahmoud al-Sharif al-Kabir after 7:30 pm on Sunday (August 13th). They were taken to an undisclosed location, and so far their families, have not been able to contact them to check on their safety. Their lawyers have not been able to reach them either. According to the Attorney-General of Tripoli, there is no warrant for the arrest of Mr. Ali Zeidan. But there was a travel restriction issued by the Attorney-General in March 2014 and the restriction was lifted on 19 June 2014.

While the Coalition of the Platform strongly denounces the shameful silence of the Presidency Council on the forced disappearance of the former Prime  Minister Mr. Ali Zeidan and his escort, Mr. Mahmoud El Sherif, and the widespread impunity in Libya in general, the Platform Coalition reiterates its condemnation of the Presidency Council disregard of the implementation of the Political Accord, particularly with regard to ignoring the implementation of the terms of the Political Accord Temporary security arrangements - since its establishment of a unified brigade called the Presidential Guard.[2]

The Platform Coalition also deplores the failure of the Presidency Council to implement the Political Accord regarding the release of those who are forcibly disappeared and detained outside the law, which is contained in the confidence-building section.

This forced disappearance of Mr. Ali Zeidan & Mr. Mahmoud El-Sherief, comes at a time when armed groups continue to kidnap civilians, including politicians and journalists, and have them forcibly disappeared, with complete lack of impunity. Abdel Moez Banoun, a prominent activist, and critic of militias and government violations, on social media and public events has been missing since his kidnapping by an unknown armed group on 25 July 2014 in Tripoli. Jabir Zein, a human rights activist, is still being forcibly disappeared from the September 26, 2016, by Second Force Fernaj (known as Adnan ElShebani), an armed group within the armed groups of the security arrangements of the Presidency Council, as well as many others who are forcibly disappeared and detained outside law.

In this regard, the Platform Coalition welcomes the decision of the International Criminal Court to arrest Mahmud Mustafa Boseif al-Warfali for war crimes, and we await further international action to end the impunity of perpetrators of grave violations in Libya.

It is noteworthy that Captain Mahmoud al-Warfali had committed and ordered a war crime in the killing of 33 people between the period of June 3, 2016 or earlier and on July 17, 2017 or close, in Benghazi or in surrounding areas in Libya.












[1] In September 2016, LWPP along with 15 Libyan Civil Society Organizations, gathered for two days to formulate their work strategies, as well as their needs, challenges, and sustainable ways to collaborate. The Libyan organizations agreed on creating an independent entity, named ‘The Platform’, that convenes and unites their vision, and through which they can work collectively on addressing the human rights situation in Libya. The organizations were brought together by a common ground aiming to work impartially, far from political divisions and believe in allowing a safe space to draw joint and comprehensive strategies in order to strengthen public freedoms and human rights in the country.The Platform’s vision is to create a safe space for Libyan civil society organizations working on the protection and promotion of human rights to engage in dialogue and coordination and aiming at raising the capacity of those organizations to actively promote public freedoms and human rights in the country. Furthermore, The Platform envisions the development of a joint strategy for change and impact on the national, regional and international levels.

The Platform’s Objectives

  • Breaking the isolation between civil society organizations working in the field of human rights, and defenders inside and outside Libya, and working towards a better distribution of roles between them.
  • Creating a safe space for civil society members to engage in dialogue and critical thinking, with the purpose of developing a comprehensive vision for the implementation of a strategy of change and influence at all levels.
  • Raising the capacities of Libyan civil society organizations to monitor and document human rights violations in the country.
  • Bridging the absence of international mechanisms to document the daily IHRL and IHL violations in Libya by working to enable local professional groups to document and monitor the human rights situation in the country.
  • Strengthening the capacity of Libyan civil society organizations to play an active role in local, regional, and international human rights advocacy.
  • Supporting the effective participation of Libyan civil society organizations in adopting peaceful solutions and also in monitoring the implementation of relevant agreements. This support should also ensure civil society organizations’ involvement in the transitional phase, and in promoting a culture of peaceful coexistence and respect for the Rule of Law.

Working towards ending impunity and fighting against hate speech and violence, and ensuring freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly. Protecting activists and the media from attacks, ensuring their safety, and guaranteeing a safe space for them to work freely.

[2] In 9th of May 2016, the Presidency Council, which entered Tripoli in March 2016, issued a decree establishing a unified Presidential Guard brigade to implement the agreed upon security arrangements, especially the temporary ones. The decree and its implementing mechanism, however, violates Articles 34 and 42, and the sixth annex of the political agreement. The decree and subsequent edicts did not regulate ceasefire arrangements and the withdrawal of armed groups from cities or define operating rules and rules of engagement for the military and police in dealing with armed groups, disciplinary and criminal procedures, or measures to monitor the implementation and effectiveness of the aforementioned security arrangements.

The Presidency Council has disregarded these urgent arrangements, which were slated to go into effect in the period between the approval of the political agreement and the formation and approval of the government. Additionally, the implementation of the decree exacerbated divisions and added to the further fragmentation of security institutions through annexing armed groups wholesale into new military formations that include several armed groups from the western region as well as the Petroleum Facilities Guard. Moreover, the third article of the decree, which defines the units that will be integrated to the Presidential Guard, was not implemented.