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UN expresses concern over military courts’ death sentences in eastern Libya

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The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) on Friday expressed concern over a number of death sentences issued by military courts in eastern Libya.

“We have been informed of at least 13 death sentences issued by the Benghazi High Court and four by an al-Bayda Court, in potential violation of Libya’s international human rights law obligations,” the UNSMIL said in a statement.

There have been reports that defendants have not been permitted to present their cases, or have evidence against them examined, and that following trials, sentences have been handed down secretly, with no written, reasoned judgements provided to defendants or lawyers, which is of deep concern to the UNSMIL, said the statement.

Hundreds of defendants are detained in prisons in eastern Libya, most of whom were arrested during the east-based army a few years ago.

According to international and local human rights organizations, most of the defendants did not have a fair trial, as judgments were passed in secret and far from the media.

Libya has been suffering chaos and political division since the 2011 uprising that toppled leader Muammar Gaddafi.

(XINHUA)