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Libya

    October 23, 2013

    The Libyan authorities must urgently find a durable solution to end the continued forcible displacement of tens of thousands of Tawarghas and other communities, from their hometown during the armed conflict of 2011, said Amnesty International.

    The entire inhabitants of the town of Tawargha – some 40,000 people - were driven out by armed groups from Misratah who accused them of supporting Colonel al-Gaddafi’s government. An Amnesty International briefing Barred from their Home, published on the second anniversary of the end of the conflict, highlights the continued discrimination, abductions and arbitrary detention of the Tawargha, who still face threats and reprisal attacks at the hand of militias acting above the law.

    “Two years after the conflict, Tawarghas and other displaced communities are still waiting for justice and effective reparations for the abuses they have suffered. Many continue to face discrimination and live in under resourced camps with no solution in sight,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director.

    September 18, 2013

    The Libyan authorities should immediately hand Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi and former intelligence chief Abdallah al-Senussi to the International Criminal Court (ICC) said Amnesty International.  

    The organization met both detainees last week ahead of the referral of their case to the Indictment Chamber in Tripoli on 19 September. Al-Gaddafi and al-Senussi are wanted by the ICC for crimes against humanity but the Libyan authorities are insisting that they stand trial in Libya.

    Their case has been referred to the Indictment Chamber along with those of 36 others accused of crimes related to the armed conflict.

    “The referral of these cases to the Indictment Chamber brings us one step closer to the start of national trial proceedings for Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi, in violation of Libya’s legal obligation to surrender him to the ICC,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahrahoui, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

    September 03, 2013

    The abduction of ‘Anoud al-Senussi, the daughter of military intelligence chief under al-Gaddafi, Abdallah al-Senussi, upon her release from prison in Tripoli raises serious concerns about her safety and the Libyan authorities’ ability to protect detainees held since the 2011 armed conflict, Amnesty International said.

    ‘Anoud al-Senussi was abducted by unknown assailants at approximately 5:00 pm on 2 September outside Al-Baraka prison, formerly known as al-Ruwaimi prison, as the judicial police escorted her to Tripoli International Airport. Upon her release – which the authorities had been delaying since 8 August out of fears for her security – she had planned to meet relatives before flying out to Sabha in southern Libya.

    August 02, 2013

    Hundreds of former soldiers and supporters of Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi are at increased risk of the death penalty, said Amnesty International, following the sentencing of a former minister in al-Gaddafi’s government to death.

    Ahmad Ibrahim, a former Education Minister in al-Gaddafi’s government, was sentenced to death by the Misratah Court of Appeals on Wednesday 31 July along with five other men. He was charged with incitement to discord and civil war and undermining state security during the conflict.  

    Thousands of detainees are being held in relation to the 2011 conflict, including members of al-Gaddafi’s former security forces and others perceived as loyalists. Many are in danger of receiving similar sentences as courts process their cases in the coming months.

    “While the victims of war crimes and human rights violations have the right to see justice being done, justice must not turn into revenge. The trials of former al-Gaddafi loyalists are a test for Libya’s judicial system,” said Philip Luther, Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.

    June 20, 2013

    The Libyan authorities must act immediately to end the indefinite detention of refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants, including children, solely for immigration purposes, Amnesty International said in a new briefing published today, 20 June 2013, World Refugee Day.
    The briefing, Scapegoats of Fear: Rights of Refugees, Asylum-Seekers and Migrants Abused in Libya, highlights the unacceptable treatment of thousands of foreign nationals, many from sub-Saharan Africa, who are subjected to arbitrary arrests and held for long periods in deplorable conditions at immigration detention facilities described by the Libyan authorities as “holding centres”, with no immediate prospect of release or redress in sight.
    Amnesty International visited seven “holding centres” in April and May this year and found evidence of ill-treatment, in some cases amounting to torture. Many detainees were also denied medical care and some were slated for deportation on medical grounds.

    June 14, 2013

    The Libyan authorities must drop charges against two politicians who published a cartoon on women’s rights deemed to be offensive to Islam, Amnesty International said today.

    Libyan National Party policy manager Ali Tekbali and Fathi Sager, the party’s secretary general, are due to appear in court this Sunday, 16 June at the Criminal Court in Tripoli .They are facing the death penalty over a cartoon calling for gender equality and women’s rights that was circulated on an electoral campaign poster last June.

    The cartoon features a group of men discussing the role of women in Libyan society, including a bearded character. That same character appeared as the Prophet Muhammad three months later in a controversial anti-Islamic comic published by the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo last September. The cartoon, however, did not make any reference to the Prophet Muhammad or to Islam. 

    June 01, 2013

    Libya must comply with the decision made by the International Criminal Court (ICC) and immediately surrender Saif al-Islam Gaddafi to the Court in The Hague, said Amnesty International.

    "Libya is in transition. Its criminal justice system collapsed after the fall of the al-Gaddafi government and the country is not yet in a position where it can conduct fair trials, let alone try Saif for the crimes he is accused of committing by the ICC," said Tawanda Hondora, Deputy Director of Amnesty International's Law and Policy Programme.

    "Libya must comply with its obligations to surrender Saif al-Islam to the ICC and it must ensure full protection of his rights during transfer.”

    Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi, son of Muammar al-Gaddafi, is charged with two counts of crimes against humanity - murder and persecution – for his alleged role in the conflict that led to the ouster of the al-Gaddafi government.

    May 03, 2013

    In November 2012 Libyan journalist Amara Abdalla al-Khattabi, editor-in-chief of al-Umma newspaper,   published the names of 84 allegedly corrupt judges in his newspaper. Just a list of names. The newspaper had obtained the list from a confidential source.

    One month later, Amara Abdalla al-Khattabi was arrested, charged and detained under Article 195 of the Penal Code for the “insulting of constitutional or popular authorities”. Article 195 was frequently used to repress freedom of expression during the Gaddafi era. Amara Abdalla al-Khattabi is now facing 15 years in prison. Amnesty International believes that he is being tried solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression.

    April 10, 2013

    The wife of a hunger-striking Libyan journalist has told Amnesty International of her disbelief that her husband has been imprisoned and denied bail for ‘offending’ the judiciary under an al-Gaddafi-era law.

    Amara al-Khattabi, the editor-in-chief of al-Umma newspaper, was arrested last December and has been on hunger strike since 28 February in protest at his detention. He was arrested a month after his newspaper published a list of 84 judges allegedly involved in corruption.

    His wife Masara al-Ghussain declared a hunger strike in his support on Sunday, after al-Khattabi was transferred to a hospital on 4 April due to his deteriorating health. 

    “All he did was to publish a list of judges,” his wife told Amnesty International.

    “Has the act of copying and pasting now become so dangerous in Libya that it requires people being sent to prison?”

    March 12, 2013

    A Libyan newspaper editor detained since 19 December for publishing a list of judges allegedly involved in corruption in the country must be released immediately and unconditionally, Amnesty International said today.

    Amara Abdalla al-Khatabi, 67, is currently detained in Hudba Prison in Libya’s capital, Tripoli, charged with defamation in relation to a list of 84 judges his newspaper published saying they were involved in corruption.

    He has been on hunger strike since 28 February in protest against his arrest and continued detention. There are risks that his health will deteriorate rapidly as he suffers from a number of chronic diseases, including diabetes and hypertension.

    “We are extremely worried about Amara Abdalla al-Khatabi’s health. Detaining a journalist because he ran a piece on corruption is reminiscent of al-Gaddafi-era practices. Amara Abdalla al-Khatabi should be released immediately and without any conditions,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Program Director at Amnesty International.

    March 08, 2013

    The attack on a TV station in Tripoli after it broadcasted a debate about a law that would ban those who held office during the al-Gaddafi years from participating in public institutions should be a wake-up call for the authorities to rein in local militias, Amnesty International said today.

    It follows a violent interruption of a General National Congress meeting on 5 March by hundreds of protestors who attempted to coerce its members to enact the Political Isolation Law. President of the GNC, Mohammad Magarief was subjected to a gunfire attack as members were eventually allowed to leave the meeting.  

    On 7 March, a large group of unidentified men stormed the headquarters of Al-Assema TV, a private news channel in Tripoli, and abducted four men, including the owner of the station Jumaa Al-Usta, the former Executive Director Nabil Al-Shibani and journalists Mohammad Al-Houni and Mahmoud Al-Sharkassi.

    While both journalists were released a few hours later, the whereabouts of Jumaa Al-Usta and Nabil Shibani remain unknown.

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