Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Rwandan singer amongst terror plot suspects

Read more

DEBATE

What's Putin's Plan? Kiev Accuses Russia of Terrorism

Read more

FOCUS

Campaigning against Bouteflika's re-election... in France

Read more

WEB NEWS

Chile: Online mobilization to help Valparaiso fire victims

Read more

ENCORE!

Art, sex, money, memory and manga

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Spat over Iran's UN ambassador hampers thawing relations with US

Read more

FOCUS

China trade deal: Is Taiwan's identity under threat?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Call it a caretaker government'

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria's Battles

Read more

  • Frantic search for South Korea ferry passengers continues

    Read more

  • Kiev powerless as pro-Russia activists seize armoured vehicles

    Read more

  • Algeria heads to the polls: ‘this election has nothing to do with us’

    Read more

  • Scandal-hit French doctor Jacques Servier dies

    Read more

  • N. Korea not amused by London hair salon's Kim Jong-un ad

    Read more

  • US rolls out red carpet for French critic of capitalism

    Read more

  • Real Madrid beat old foes Barcelona to lift Copa del Rey

    Read more

  • Belgian head of wildlife reserve shot in eastern Congo

    Read more

  • France's new PM targets welfare in drive to cut spending

    Read more

  • Campaigning against Bouteflika's re-election... in France

    Read more

  • Brazil club Mineiro cancel Anelka signing after no-show

    Read more

  • Syria 'torture' photos silence UN Security Council members

    Read more

  • Paris laboratory loses deadly SARS virus samples

    Read more

  • More than 100 schoolgirls kidnapped in northeast Nigeria

    Read more

  • New York police disband unit targeting Muslims

    Read more

  • 'Miracle girl' healthy after seven-organ transplant in Paris

    Read more

  • Paris police memo calling for Roma eviction ‘rectified’

    Read more

  • Burgundy digs into France's bureaucratic 'mille-feuille'

    Read more

  • French court drops ‘hate speech’ case against Bob Dylan

    Read more

  • Algeria rights crackdown slammed ahead of election

    Read more

  • Iraq closes notorious Abu Ghraib jail over security fears

    Read more

  • In ‘Tom at the Farm’, Xavier Dolan blends Hitchcock and homoeroticism

    Read more

Africa

New Libyan regime abusing detainees, Amnesty says

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-10-13

The new Libyan leadership has detained some 2,500 people near Tripoli and are committing human rights abuses including torture, Amnesty International said Wednesday. A National Transitional Council spokesman said the claims will be investigated.

REUTERS - Libya's new rulers are in danger of repeating human rights abuses commonplace during Muammar Gaddafi's rule, including arbitrary arrest and torture, Amnesty International said on Wednesday.

Jalal al-Galal, a spokesman for Libya's new ruling National Transitional Council (NTC), told Reuters the council leadership would surely look into the human rights group's report.

"(NTC Chairman) Mustafa Abdel Jalil has said time and time again that he will not tolerate abuse of prisoners and has made it abundantly clear that he will investigate any such allegations," he said.

In its report "Detention Abuses Staining the New Libya," Amnesty said forces of the ruling council that overran Tripoli on Aug. 23 have detained around 2,500 people in the capital and surrounding areas, mostly without arrest warrants, in scenarios similar to abductions.

Many of the detainees Amnesty researchers spoke to had been beaten and ill-treated.

"We understand that the transitional authorities are facing many challenges, but if they do not make a clear break with the past now, they will effectively be sending out a message that treating detainees like this is to be tolerated in the new Libya," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty's Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director.

Many of the detainees are being held in former prisons and makeshift detention centres, such as schools and sports clubs, which are not overseen by the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights.

Amnesty said that the NTC needs to ensure people are not detained without orders from the General Prosecution, and should bring all detention facilities under the control of the Minister of Justice.

"These detainees have in most cases been arrested without a warrant, beaten -- and sometimes worse -- on arrest and arrival in detention. They are vulnerable to abuse by armed militias who often act on their own initiative," Hadj Sahraoui said.

The organisation said that in one detention centre they found a wooden stick and rope, and a rubber hose, which could be used to beat detainees.

In another, the researchers heard the sound of whipping and screams from a nearby cell.

Amnesty reported that at least two guards from separate detention facilities said that they beat detainees in order to extract confessions more quickly.

"In general, the prison administrators in detention facilities visited by Amnesty International had little legal knowledge or expertise in running detention facilities, and were unfamiliar with international human rights and humanitarian law," the report said.

The organization also noted that sub-Saharan Africans had been particularly targeted, making up over a third of detainees, seen as potential mercenaries, after Gaddafi forces used foreign fighters.

Among the detainees interviewed, a 17-year-old boy from Chad who was accused of rape and being a mercenary said the beatings were so severe he ended up "confessing".

"I ended up telling them what they wanted to hear. I told them I raped women and killed Libyans."

Amnesty said that those being held must be allowed to challenge the lawfulness of their detention or be released.

However, trial proceedings in Libya have been suspended since the NTC took control.

In meetings with Amnesty last month, NTC officials said they were committed to reforming the justice system and have also said they are committed upholding human rights.

Research for the report included meetings with detention administrators and interviews with around 300 detainees -- without the presence of guards -- in 11 detention centres in western Libya between Aug. 18 and Sept. 21.
 

Date created : 2011-10-13

  • LIBYA

    New regime forces take control of key areas in Sirte

    Read more

  • LIBYA

    Civilians flee amid fierce clashes in Sirte

    Read more

  • LIBYA

    Libya's new rulers announce cabinet shakeup

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)