In an oral statement delivered to the Human Rights Council at its forty-third regular session in Geneva, as part of the General debate of agenda item9 relating to racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related forms of intolerance, follow-up and implementation of the Durban Declaration and Program of Action, Geneva Council for Rights and Liberties expressed its deep concern the rise of hate speech and incitement to violence in the media in Libya.
GCRL warns in the oral statement,jointly with Human Rights Solidarity, International Institute for the rights and development, and Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor, of escalation in violence and hate speech that targets civilians in Libya based on their religious or ethnic affiliation across social media which undermines the peace process in the country.
The statement presented by the president of GCRL, Ms Lamia Fadla, called on UNHRC to direct the High Commissioner Office to submit a report on hate speech and incitement against violence in the Libyan media to identify channels and individuals who commit this crime, document its effects and suggest effective mechanisms to address it.
43rd Session of The Human Rights Council
General Debate Item9 :racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related forms of intolerance, follow-up and implementation of the Durban Declaration and Program of Action
MR Vice-President, we at the International Institute for Rights and Development- Geneva (IRDG) and Human Rights Solidarity Organization (HRS), Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor and Geneva Council for Rights and Liberties (GCRL) express our deep concerns about the growing hate-speech, incitement to violence, and media disinformation, targeting social groups based on their tribal, ethnic or regional origins, broadcast by TV channels and social-media networks. It damages the social fabric in Libya and undermines any peace efforts to end the political crisis.
Entire regions in Libya have been demonized through TV programs that extend for hours on satellite channels, resulting in escalation of violence and deliberate targeting of civilians.
Although hate speech and incitement to violence are criminalized in International Human Rights Law, we find it growing unchecked and today is practiced by most parties in Libya.
Even more worrying is the absence of any steps to counter this destructive phenomenon or even condemnation by the parties to the conflict, whether the Government of National Accord (GNA), the Internationally recognized Libyan government, or the other self-proclaimed one in eastern Libya.
Madam President, we call on the esteemed Council to direct the OHCHR to submit a report on hate speech and incitement to violence in the Libyan media, in order to identify channels and individuals who commit this crime, document its effects and propose mechanisms to address it.