Libya remains a country mired in political turmoil as competing political factions vie for power amid a landscape marked by the rise of independent localized militas, some of which have aligned with forces loyal to the former regime or with transnational Islamist movements.
Human rights defenders (HRDs) remain at severe risk due to the general insecurity and the spread of the armed conflict across the country. HRDs have been victims of assassinations, kidnappings, violent attacks, torture and unlawful detentions. The situation deteriorated further when armed groups took control of major cities. The closure of foreign diplomatic missions also affected HRDs as it deprived them of a support network.
While the conflict remains the main source of risk and insecurity for HRDs, human rights activism is also constrained by limitations on freedom of association, peaceful assembly and expression. Despite some efforts to incorporate legal reforms, the legal framework applicable to civil society organisations remains uncertain. NGOs have been allowed to form and operate, however a comprehensive NGO law has not been adopted and certain restrictive pieces of legislation from the Qaddafi era remain in force.