a. Freedom of Expression, Including for Members of the Press and Other Media
The 2011 Constitutional Declaration provides for freedom of opinion, expression, and press, but censorship was pervasive by all sides and various armed groups, including those aligned with the government, exerted significant control over media content. Unidentified assailants targeted journalists as reprisal for their reporting.
Freedom of Expression: Freedom of expression was limited in law and practice. The law criminalizes acts that “harm the February 17 revolution of 2017.” The House of Representatives, since its election in 2014, and the government, since taking power in Tripoli in 2021, did little to reduce restrictions on freedom of expression. Observers reported that individuals censored themselves in everyday speech. Civil society organizations (CSOs) practiced self-censorship because armed groups previously threatened or killed activists. Skirmishes in major urban areas deepened the climate of fear and provided cover for armed groups to target vocal opponents with impunity.
Press freedoms were limited in all forms of media, creating an environment in which virtually no independent media existed.
Violence and Harassment: The international NGO Reporters Without Borders reported that all sides used threats and violence to intimidate journalists. Harassment, threats, abductions, violence, and killings made it nearly impossible for media to operate in any meaningful capacity in several areas of the country.
Impunity for attacks on members of media exacerbated the problem, with no monitoring organizations, security forces, or functioning judicial system to constrain or record these attacks.
Many armed groups aligned with the government or the LNA maintained databases of persons being sought for their alleged opposition activities or due to their identity. Some journalists and human rights activists chose to depart the country rather than remain and endure harassment.
Armed groups reportedly used social media to monitor and target political opponents, incite violence, and engage in hate speech. In January, Amnesty International reported that the LNA’s TBZ abducted a man from his home in Benghazi after he criticized LNA commander Khalifa Haftar on social media. In March, the TBZ reportedly abducted another man from his Benghazi home after he criticized Speaker of the House of Representatives Agila Saleh, a Haftar ally, on social media. The whereabouts of both men remained unknown at year’s end. In March, CIHRS and LP reported that Tayeb Jaballah Mustafa al-Sheriri was shot and killed by an unknown assailant following al-Sheriri’s criticism of Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dabaiba during a Facebook Live broadcast. Al-Sheriri had been detained for five days prior to his death. In September, Libyan Crimes Watch reported that the TBZ set fire to the house of activist Senussi al-Mahdi, who appeared in a video criticizing human rights violations taking place in the Buhadi area, south of Sirte.
According to UNSMIL, various news publications and television stations published calls to violence, intentionally spread false news, and permitted defamation.
In February, the Libyan Organization for Independent Media (LOFIM) reported that eight armed assailants attacked and harassed female photojournalist Mabrouka al-Masmari in her car while she was driving to cover a media story on corruption in Benghazi for Channel 218TV. She departed Libya soon after the incident. In the same month, security officials arrested journalist Mohamed Sabri during a press conference outside the Council of Ministers, according to CIHRS and LP. Security officials reportedly arrested Sabri to stop him from asking questions about the sources of funding of finance loans that the government had recently approved. In March, Reporters Without Borders reported that an armed security force affiliated with the government’s Internal Security Agency arrested and kidnapped Channel 218TV reporter Ali al-Rifawi in Sirte following criticism he had made against municipal officials. He was held without trial and released in July after 100 days in captivity.
As of May, LOFIM documented 14 abuses of freedom of expression for members of the press and other media, 10 of which were attacks against journalists including enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrests, and verbal and physical violence. Abuses were especially common in Sirte, Tripoli, Benghazi, Surman, and Ajdabiya. Ten percent of violations were against women members of the press. LOFIM assessed that the number of abuses in 2022 remained at relatively the same level as 2021.
In August, Reporters Without Borders reported that individuals later identified as members of the Internal Security Agency had attacked al-Arabiya correspondent Mohamed Messaoud while he was covering a session of parliament in Tobruk. Messaoud reportedly suffered bruising and injury to one eye. Numerous media organizations and human rights groups condemned the attack.
Censorship or Content Restrictions for Members of the Press and Other Media, Including Online Media: Journalists practiced self-censorship due to intimidation and the lack of security. The unstable security situation created hostility towards civilians and journalists associated with opposing armed groups or political factions. International news agencies reported difficulties obtaining journalist visas, encountered refusals to issue or recognize press cards, and were barred from reporting freely in certain areas, especially eastern cities. UNSMIL documented restrictions imposed by the Foreign Media Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs seriously affecting the operations of journalists in Tripoli.
In March, the government established the Committee for the Regulation of the Work of Private Audiovisual Channels to regulate the activities of media outlets. Activists criticized the composition of the committee, which reportedly includes two representatives of the Ministry of Interior and the intelligence service and is led by a former security officer. In September, the government issued a regulation requiring media outlets to obtain prior approvals from the committee and various security and intelligence authorities before conducting any audiovisual activities. The regulation also reportedly includes steep new fees payable to the regulator, in addition to the annual license renewal fees. Numerous media outlets and human rights organizations condemned the regulations as an attack on media freedom and called on the government to withdraw them.
Libel/Slander Laws: The penal code criminalizes a variety of political speech, including speech considered to “insult constitutional and popular authorities” and “publicly insulting the Libyan Arab people.” It and other laws also provide criminal penalties for defamation and insults to religion. The government acted on these laws frequently, most notably in the Tanweer case (see section 1.e.).
National Security: The penal code criminalizes speech considered to “tarnish the [country’s] reputation or undermine confidence in it abroad,” but the government did not enforce this provision.
Nongovernmental Impact: Nongovernmental armed groups, terrorist groups, and civilians regularly harassed, intimidated, or assaulted journalists.
The government increasingly censored online content. Selective filtering or blocking of access existed, although no reliable public information identified those responsible for censorship. There were reports that government-aligned groups monitored private online communications without appropriate legal authority (see section 1.f.).
Activists on social media reported that Facebook pages were regularly hacked by unknown actors or closed due to mass reporting and complaints.
In September, the House of Representatives enacted Law No.5/2022, an anti-cybercrime law that gives government authorities broad remit to remove digital content deemed offensive to Libyan culture and values. It also criminalizes the use of encrypted communications, upon which many civil society activists, human rights defenders, journalists, and survivors of human rights violations rely. The law imposes substantial fines and up to 15 years in prison for publishers of digital content “that results in a violation of public order or public morals” and “ideas that undermine society’s security, stability and social peace.” The National Information Security and Safety Authority, part of the Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology, is responsible for administering the law domestically and extraterritorially “if their impact and consequences extend to Libya.”
Domestic and international human rights organizations strongly condemned the legislation, saying its overly broad language severely hindered free expression and gave judicial authorities undue power to criminalize legitimate speech. They added that the criminalization of encrypted communication tools such as WhatsApp, used by more than two million persons in the country, threatened the right to online privacy while intensifying the ability of government actors and armed groups affiliated with the government to conduct online surveillance with impunity.
A significant body of evidence suggested that foreign actors sought to influence domestic opinion and incite violence in the country by spreading deliberate misinformation on social media and other platforms.
Many bloggers, online journalists, and citizens reported practicing self-censorship due to intimidation by armed groups and the uncertain political situation.
In October, Freedom House reported that internet freedom declined in the country in large part due to a systemic crackdown on online activists, bloggers, and journalists that began in 2021. The online space reportedly became less diverse as internet users increasingly self-censored and online activists ceased their activities in response to harassment from authorities. Journalists, activists, and bloggers continued to face online harassment, arbitrary detention, and, in some cases, physical violence relating to their online activity.
The government occasionally restricted or disrupted access to the internet. In August, Freedom House documented an internet shutdown lasting five hours in the eastern city of Tobruk around the time that LNA Commander Haftar visited the city. Brief internet shutdowns also occurred in July during Haftar’s visit to the city of Darna. In July, internet shutdowns and mobile disruptions were recorded following protests in Tobruk.
b. Freedoms of Peaceful Assembly and Association
The 2011 Constitutional Declaration provides for the freedoms of peaceful assembly and association, and the government generally respected these rights but lacked the ability to fully protect freedom of association.
Freedom of Peaceful Assembly
The 2011 Constitutional Declaration provides for a general right to peaceful assembly, and the government generally respected this right. The law on guidelines for peaceful demonstrations, however, fails to include relevant assurances and severely restricts the exercise of the right of assembly. The law mandates protesters must inform the government of any planned protest at least 48 hours in advance and provides that the government may notify the organizers that a protest is banned as little as 12 hours before the event.
In January, local media reported that unspecified militias violently dispersed more than 1,000 migrants who had been conducting a sit-in outside of the UNHCR office in Tripoli. More than 600 migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers were reportedly arrested, including women and children. One Sudanese migrant was shot in the abdomen. The militias also burned some of the migrants’ tents, according to reports from Doctors without Borders (MSF) and the Norwegian Refugee Council.
In August, gunmen reportedly affiliated with the Special Deterrence Force violently dispersed a crowd of protesters and arrested two individuals in front of the Ministry of Finance. The protesters had been demanding payment for delayed salaries. According to witnesses, the Ministry of Finance, which the special force had guarded since 2019, ordered the protest broken up.
Freedom of Association
The 2011 Constitutional Declaration includes freedom of association for political and civil society groups. The government lacked capacity, however, to protect freedom of association. Targeted attacks on journalists, activists, and religious figures severely undermined this freedom and caused some activists to seek sanctuary abroad. Numerous CSO staff members received threats, including death threats, because of their human rights activities, and several of them believed they were under surveillance by intelligence services; they also reported being unjustly detained for short periods.
In July, the FFM documented evidence that implementation of Presidential Council decree 286 of 2019, which gave the Tripoli-based Civil Society Commission (CSC) broad authority to regulate the activities of local and international CSOs, significantly hampered CSOs’ local operations. In March, the CSC in Tripoli had announced the immediate suspension and outlawing of all organizations that had not complied with decree 286. The CSC also issued a statement affirming support for a series of arrests the Internal Security Agency had made against organizations allegedly found to be in noncompliance with the decree.
In July, a Benghazi court temporarily suspended Decree 286. While the judgment barred the executive authority from intervening in the operation of civic associations and CSOs, the government was unlikely to honor a decision by an eastern-based court. In September, the government reaffirmed the decree by issuing a letter to the Internal Security Agency instructing it to “stop work” for a number of CSOs and international NGOs that reportedly had not complied with CSC reporting requirements.
In the eastern part of the country, Decision 1 and 2 of 2016 enabled similar interference by the Benghazi-based CSC. Regional human rights NGOs reported that some government authorities continued to try to assert the validity of Law No. 19 of 2001, a Qaddhafi-era regulation that also imposed severe restrictions on the activities of CSOs.
As of December, the Tripoli-based CSC had essentially ceased functioning due to internal disputes, a development that, in addition to conflicting guidance from eastern- and western-based actors, contributed to legal uncertainty and a growing climate of fear for CSOs in the country.
c. Freedom of Religion
See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report at https://www.state.gov/religiousfreedomreport/.
d. Freedom of Movement and the Right to Leave the Country
The 2011 Constitutional Declaration recognizes freedom of movement, including foreign travel, emigration, and repatriation, although the law provides the government with the power to restrict a person’s movement if it views that person as a “threat to public security or stability,” based on the person’s “previous actions or affiliation with an official or unofficial apparatus or tool of the former regime.” The government generally respected rights related to movement, travel, and repatriation.
The law criminalizes irregular migration and requires the detention of irregular migrants. As of December, IOM reported that authorities had intercepted and disembarked 23,596 migrants.
In-country Movement: The government did not restrict internal movement in the west, although armed groups aligned with it set up some checkpoints. The LNA established checkpoints in the east and south.
There were reports that armed groups controlling airports within the country conducted random checks on departing domestic and international travelers, including of their personal electronic devices. The country lacked a unified customs and immigration system.
In August, the government reportedly prevented members of the House of Representatives from traveling from Tripoli to Benghazi to attend an official legislative session. While the government did not publicly comment, the House of Representatives ultimately cancelled its session and called on the Office of the Attorney General to investigate the incident. The attorney general never announced an investigation or released any results, however.
Citizenship: The law states that citizens may lose citizenship if they obtain a foreign citizenship without receiving permission beforehand from authorities, but there was no process for obtaining such permission. The state lacked the capacity to investigate the authenticity of citizenship applications.
If a father’s citizenship is revoked, his children lose theirs as well. The law does not specify if a mother also loses her citizenship in this case, or whether minors and adult children may lose their citizenship due to the revocation of their mother’s citizenship.
e. Protection of Refugees
Government cooperation with UNHCR, IOM, and other international agencies that operated within the country was inconsistent, and government-imposed restrictions often prevented humanitarian access and movement. These agencies were allowed to assist refugees and migrants in some geographic areas and facilities across the country. UN agencies monitored and publicly reported on refugees and migrants in the country, including those in government detention centers. International aid organizations provided basic services directly and through domestic implementing partners to refugees and asylum seekers. UNHCR- and IOM-operated Voluntary Humanitarian Returns flights resumed operation this year. As of October, IOM reported that 8,730 migrants had benefited from the flights.
Access to Asylum: Libya is not party to the 1951 Refugee Convention or its 1967 Protocol, although the 2011 Constitutional Declaration recognizes the right of asylum and forbids forcible repatriation of asylum seekers. The government had not established a system for protecting refugees or asylum seekers by year’s end. Absent an asylum system, authorities may detain and deport asylum seekers without giving them the opportunity to request asylum. The government did not legally recognize asylum seekers without documentation as a class distinct from migrants without residency permits.
As of December, there were 43,000 refugees and asylum seekers in the country registered with UNHCR, according to the UN Security Council Panel of Experts on Libya. Each adult asylum seeker was issued a printed UNHCR asylum seeker certificate that included a photograph and basic biodata serving as evidence that the certificate holder was entitled to protection and assistance under the UNHCR mandate. Of the nine nationalities registered with UNHCR, the largest groups continued to be made up of Sudanese and Syrian refugees and asylum seekers.
Authorities made no progress in the registration of migrants and refugees at disembarkation points after interception operations, or in detention facilities.
The UN Security Council Panel of Experts on Libya noted evidence from OHCHR that expulsions from the country routinely lacked due process and procedural guarantees, including judicial oversight. Individuals facing expulsions were often deprived of access to legal assistance and the ability to challenge the legality of their return. In addition, the expulsions often placed migrants in extremely vulnerable situations, including long and perilous return journeys, with migrants being forced to travel on overcrowded vehicles across remote stretches of the Sahara Desert without adequate safety equipment, food, and water, and without being provided with appropriate medical care. Those forcibly expelled were reportedly left at borders in dire and unsafe conditions and at high risk of further abuses. Authorities continued to expel migrants and asylum seekers across the country’s southern borders, and in some areas these activities reportedly increased compared with 2021.
In June, CIHRS and LP documented the recovery of the bodies of 20 migrants from a stalled vehicle on a desert road in the southern city of Kufra. The Kufra Ambulance and Emergency Service reported that the migrants died of thirst.
As of July, OHCHR documented evidence that LNA-affiliated armed groups, under the guise of fighting crimes related to irregular migration, prostitution, smuggling of migrants, and trafficking in persons, had arrested and collectively expelled hundreds of migrants to Niger. While most of the migrants were from Niger, many were from Burkina Faso, Chad, the Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria, and Sudan.
In August, the UN Panel of Experts on Libya documented evidence that the LNA-affiliated Subul al-Salam armed group had collectively expelled at least 550 migrants and refugees to Chad and Sudan. In December, Amnesty International reported that the LNA’s TBZ had expelled “hundreds” of migrants to Niger, where they were left in the desert without any food or water.
According to UNSMIL, migrants expelled to Egypt were transferred from detention centers in the east of the country under the control of the Benghazi branch of the DCIM. Other expulsions were carried through Benina and Mitiga airports to Egypt, Iraq, and Sudan.
Abuse of Migrants and Refugees: According to UNSMIL and various UN agencies, refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants routinely experienced unlawful killings, arbitrary detention, torture, sexual exploitation, and other abuses. Perpetrators included state officials, armed groups, smugglers, traffickers, and criminal gangs. As of December, IOM reported there were 679,974 migrants from more than 41 countries in the country. Of these, 23,596 were migrants intercepted at sea by Libyan authorities. IOM reported there were 520 deaths and 844 missing at sea as of December. Serious concerns remained regarding the fates of the several thousand other persons intercepted at sea and detained by a range of state and nonstate armed groups. The UN Panel of Experts on Libya documented numerous violations against migrants and refugees during interception operations, including an incident in January in which members of the Stability Support Apparatus (SSA) reportedly used excessive force by opening fire on a boat carrying migrants and refugees, killing one person and injuring several others.
Conditions in government and extralegal migrant detention facilities included severe overcrowding, insufficient access to toilets and washing facilities, malnourishment, lack of potable water, and spread of communicable diseases (see section 1.c.). In January, CIHRS and LP reported that three migrants died in the SSA-run Mayah detention center. Two of the migrants reportedly died because of medical neglect and the third of unknown causes.
Numerous reports suggested that human smugglers and traffickers had caused the death of migrants. In October, local authorities discovered the remains of at least 15 migrants and asylum seekers who were reportedly killed during armed clashes between rival traffickers. Eleven of the bodies were charred and found inside a docked boat, and an additional four bodies were found outside the boat with numerous injuries. Six Bangladeshi migrants who reportedly survived the incident cooperated with the Ministry of Interior in the prosecution of five suspected smugglers who were arrested in connection with the incident. UNSMIL condemned the attack as a “heinous killing” and a “stark reminder of the lack of protection” migrants and asylum seekers have against criminal smuggling networks.
In August, the UN Panel of Experts on Libya reported evidence from the European Union that smugglers of migrants had increased their activities during the year. Research from the Observatory on Smuggling of Migrants of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime) showed that smugglers generally operated as highly organized and sophisticated groups that created a complex system of well-functioning networks. Smugglers and traffickers took advantage of social media and digital applications to advertise their services and entice refugees and migrants into dangerous journeys. They continued to use large boats capable of carrying up to 500 persons in their attempts to move migrants across the maritime northern boundary of the Libyan search and rescue region. Other smugglers made use of unseaworthy inflatable boats, which often capsized or deflated, leading to loss of life. In many cases, smugglers did not provide refugees and migrants with sufficient food, water, or life jackets.
Trafficked migrants and refugees were often held captive in houses, farms, and camps managed jointly by Libyan and foreign nationals. Many of those freed from trafficking camps reported having been exploited and retrafficked by armed groups affiliated with the LNA in the eastern and southern regions, or by security agencies or armed groups affiliated with the government in the central and western regions.
UNSMIL and OHCR documented evidence that traffickers and smugglers continued to detain migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees in inhuman and degrading conditions in detention facilities. Many press reports indicated refugees and migrants endured torture in official and unofficial detention centers, and nonstate actors routinely held migrants for ransom payments. In January, MSF reported that migrants released from detention centers had been repeatedly harassed, robbed, attacked, exploited for unpaid work, and sometimes kidnapped or arrested by armed gangs or militias.
In June, IOM reported that an individual was killed in a compound west of Zuwara because of a dispute among migrants from Sudan. Following the incident, the public prosecutor reportedly ordered the compound to close and expelled the residents, causing most of them to remain on the streets until the Security Directorate reopened the compound one week later. IOM documented a steep rise in the number of migrants in detention facilities in Zuwara in subsequent months, further exacerbating overcrowding in the facilities there.
In July, IOM reported that a group of local youth attacked and burned migrant residences in Zuwara, believing them to be brothels. The perpetrators reportedly beat migrants with sticks and fired gunshots in the air. Four individuals were injured and admitted to hospital, and three others sought medical assistance from IOM the following day. The Zuwara Security Directorate reportedly intervened to arrest the perpetrators and put out the fires.
In September, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor documented the discovery of 287 Egyptian migrants, including more than 90 children, held captive in a warehouse following a raid by the local Security Directorate in the eastern city of Tobruk. The migrants, particularly the children, reported inhuman treatment and various forms of abuse at the hands of the smugglers. Both physical and verbal violence were reportedly used, including insults, humiliation, beatings, and, in some cases, torture using electric shocks.
There were limited arrests and no known prosecutions by the government of persons engaged in trafficking or human smuggling. The UN Panel of Experts on Libya documented cooperation among actors involved in the interception of migrants at sea, including state authorities, armed groups, traffickers, and smugglers, but the extent of the coordination often remained unclear. Several migrants reported collusion between smugglers, traffickers, and state officials, including from the DCIM and the Coast Guard, in interviews with the FFM.
There were numerous reports that migrants, particularly sub-Saharan Africans, experienced harassment or discrimination by citizens due to the perception that foreigners were transmitting communicable diseases.
Underreported sexual and gender-based violence against migrants and refugees in official and unofficial detention centers remained widespread.
International organizations documented extensive reports of sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls, as well as against men and boys. In June, local media reported that a Libyan suspect had raped two very young migrant girls. The Ministry of Women’s Affairs condemned the incident and called on the competent authorities to expedite the arrest of the accused. An investigation by the Public Prosecution Office was underway. In August, the UN Panel of Experts on Libya documented evidence that guards from the DCIM, as well as members of nonstate armed groups, routinely committed sexual violence to control and humiliate migrants. Observers reported that rape was often used as a form of torture and in some cases resulted in death.
According to OHCHR, female migrants in detention centers were also routinely held in facilities without female guards and strip-searched by male guards. Women and girls also lacked access to sexual and reproductive health services, menstrual hygiene products and care, and provisions for pregnant or nursing women. Women and girls were vulnerable to sex trafficking and were routinely detained in houses in Tripoli and Sebha, a southwestern city. Migrant women and girls were forced into commercial sex in both official and unofficial detention facilities in conditions that sometimes amounted to sexual slavery. Other migrant women reported being harassed when leaving their homes to search for work. Many migrant women who had been abused could not return to their countries of origin due to stigmatization. There are no legal protections for survivors of sexual violence.
The FFM continued to document evidence of sexual violence against migrant women in the northwestern town of Bani Walid. Guards threatened one woman that her husband, also detained in the same location, would be killed if she did not submit to them. Three of the other women reported instances of drunk guards going into women’s sleeping quarters at night and picking women for rape, a pattern the FFM indicated was consistent with other reports.
Freedom of Movement: Migrants and asylum seekers were generally considered to be illegally present in the country and were subject to fines, detention, and expulsion. The government considered migrants intercepted by the Coast Guard while attempting sea crossings on the Mediterranean to have violated the law and often sent them to migrant detention facilities in the west.
According to IOM, UNHCR, and UNSMIL, Libya could not be considered a safe port for the return or disembarkation of migrants intercepted or rescued at sea. Returns to the country reportedly often violated the principle of nonrefoulement, as migrants and refugees systematically and routinely faced the risk of death, disappearance, arbitrary detention, torture, mistreatment, gender-based violence, exploitation, and other human rights abuses by both state and nonstate actors. UN agencies continued to express concern that thousands of migrants who remained unaccounted for after disembarkation may have disappeared into informal detention by human-trafficking networks.
Access to Basic Services: Refugees registered with UNHCR may access basic protection and assistance from UNHCR and its partners, but the government did not provide refugees with reliable access to health care, education, or other services.
f. Status and Treatment of Internally Displaced Persons
Previously internally displaced persons (IDPs) continued to return to their places of origin. According to IOM, there were 143,419 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the country as of December, representing a 54 percent decrease since the October 2020 ceasefire figure of 313,712 IDPs. Benghazi, Misrata, and Tripoli were the top three regions hosting IDPs. There were 688,121 returnees in the country as of December, representing a 21 percent increase since the October 2020 cease-fire figure of 544,618 returnees. Benghazi had the highest number of returnees, followed by Tripoli and al-Jafara. Limited access for local and international assistance organizations into areas affected by fighting among rival armed groups and to official and unofficial detention centers hampered efforts to account for and assist the displaced.
The government struggled to facilitate the safe, voluntary return of IDPs to their place of origin. While some government figures made nominal efforts to promote return, the lack of adequate laws, policies, or government programs prompted international organizations and NGOs to assist IDPs to the extent possible in the form of cash payments and provision of health services, including to those with disabilities.
g. Stateless Persons
Women generally may not transmit citizenship to their children. The law permits female citizens to confer citizenship to their children only in certain exceptional circumstances, such as when fathers are unknown, stateless, or of unknown nationality. In contrast, the law provides for automatic transmission of citizenship to children born of a Libyan-national father, whether the child is born inside or outside of the country and regardless of the citizenship of the mother. There are naturalization provisions for noncitizens.
The Arab nationalist Qaddhafi regime marginalized non-Arab communities prior to its overthrow in 2011. Qaddhafi revoked the citizenship of some inhabitants of the Saharan interior of the country, including minorities such as the Tebu and Tuareg, after the regime returned the Aouzou strip along the Libya-Chad border to Chad in 1994. As a result, there were many nomadic and settled stateless persons in the country.
According to some reports, up to 30 percent of the population in the south was of undetermined legal status, which fueled discrimination in employment and services. Noncitizens without national identification numbers may not access basic services; register births, marriages, or deaths; hold certain jobs; receive state salaries; vote; or run for office.
Due to the lack of international monitoring and governmental capacity, there were no comprehensive data on the number of stateless persons.