The United Nations Security Council has denounced arbitrary arrests and numerous incidents of torture taking place in Libya since the overthrow of long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
The council said in a statement on Friday that thousands of people have been arrested outside the authority of the state and are being detained without access to due process of law.
The statement was approved by all 15 Security Council members.
The UN body called for either the release of the prisoners or their transfer to detention facilities under state authority.
In addition, the Security Council condemned incidents of torture at illegal detention centers.
It also called on Libyan authorities “to investigate all violations of human rights and bring the perpetrators of such acts to justice.”
On June 8, at least 31 people were killed and several others injured in clashes between peaceful protesters and armed militiamen in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi.
Since 2011, the Libyan government has been struggling to tackle the presence of armed militias, which are made up of militants who fought against forces loyal to Gaddafi.
On Thursday night, the Security Council called on Libyans to resolve disagreements peacefully and through dialogue.
“The Members of the Security Council expressed deep concern about the recent acts of violence in Benghazi which claimed lives of many people and called upon all Libyans to rally around their legitimate institutions, both civilian and military,” the council said in a statement.
It also “encouraged all Libyans to engage with the political process of reconciliation and constitutional reform through peaceful and inclusive means, underpinned by respect for the rule of law.”
Libyans rose up against Gaddafi’s four-decade rule in February 2011 and deposed him in August 2011. He was slain on October 20 of the same year.
Benghazi was the birthplace of the 2011 uprising. It is largely governed by militias in the absence of unified Libyan security and military forces.
The former rebels refuse to lay down their arms, despite efforts by the central government to impose law and order.
Benghazi has been the scene of numerous attacks and assassinations over the past year as the power struggles between militiamen have intensified.