Annual Report 2013
The state of the world's human rights

15 April 2010

Libyan prisoner of conscience Jamal el-Haji released

Libyan prisoner of conscience Jamal el-Haji released

Amnesty International has welcomed the release of a Libyan prisoner of conscience who was arrested for complaining of ill-treatment by the authorities.

Jamal el-Haji was acquitted of charges of insulting the judicial authorities by the State Security Court on Wednesday, after more than four months in detention.
 
"We are very relieved that Jamal el-Haji, who should not have been arrested in the first place, has now gone back to his family," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, deputy director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme.

"The Libyan authorities must now respect Jamal el-Haji's right to freely express his views about the human rights situation in Libya and guarantee that his right to freedom of movement, including his right to leave Libya, is upheld."

The writer, who also has Danish citizenship, was then reportedly denied the right to travel by the Internal Security Agency, an intelligence body, after his release in March 2009.
 
Jamal el-Haji was arrested on 9 December 2009 after making an official complaint to Mustafa Abdeljalil, Secretary of the General People's Committee for Justice (equivalent to the Minister of Justice).

In the complaint, he recounted human rights violations he suffered during his previous detention between February 2007 and March 2009.
 
He described his unlawful arrest by members of the Libyan security forces, the ill-treatment he endured in detention and breaches of his right to a fair trial.
 
He also criticized shortcomings in the administration of justice, as well as the Libyan authorities' failure to uphold their international human rights obligations.

His trial in front of the State Security Court started on 17 February 2010.

Amnesty International has urged the Libyan government to continue tackling human rights violations, following the Libyan authorities' recent release of a number of individuals detained arbitrarily.
 
Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi, the son of the Libyan leader, played a major role in securing their releases and said that 80 of those freed were detained despite being cleared by courts of all charges.
 
Others remain detained with no legal basis. These include Mahmoud Mohamed Aboushima, who is held in Abu Salim Prison despite a High Court decision in July 2007 clearing him of charges of belonging to a banned group.

On Thursday, Amnesty International sent a comprehensive memorandum to the Libyan authorities and the Gaddafi Development Foundation, headed by Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi, detailing ongoing human rights concerns.

The over one hundred page document focuses on the administration of justice; the application of the death penalty and corporal punishment; impunity for past human rights violations; and the situation of refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants in Libya.
 
"We have written to the Libyan authorities calling on them to continue to take concrete steps to address ongoing human rights concerns and to build on recent positive developments to ensure long-lasting improvements of the human rights situation." said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui.

Country

Libya 

Region

Middle East And North Africa 

Issue

Prisoners Of Conscience 

@amnestyonline on twitter

News

19 December 2014

A flurry of activity by UN member states to sign and ratify the global Arms Trade Treaty before it enters into force next week is another clear sign of the overwhelming... Read more »

18 December 2014

The rights of migrants are being trampled across the globe as they face economic exploitation, discrimination and racism in a range of countries.

Read more »
22 December 2014

Pakistan's reported plans to execute 500 more people are “deeply disturbing” and would do nothing to protect civilians from the conflict with the Taliban.

Read more »
24 December 2014

Pro-Kyiv volunteer battalions are increasingly blocking humanitarian aid into eastern Ukraine in a move which will exacerbate a pending humanitarian crisis in the run up to... Read more »

23 December 2014

Torture, including rape and other forms of sexual violence, suffered by women and girls from Iraq’s Yezidi minority who were abducted by the armed group calling itself the... Read more »