According to news reports from Libya, the 20 journalists unlawfully detained by the Internal Security Agency (ISA) have been released in the late hours of Monday, 8th November 2010. The journalists, most of whom are employees of the Libya-Press, a private news agency, and freelance journalists, were detained by ISA since Friday, 5th November 2010.
According to the news reports; “Colonel Gadhafi, the Libyan leader, has ordered an investigation into the grounds of the arrests”. This point to the detentions being unlawful, that they were not sanctioned by a judicial order. It is a known fact in Libya that ISA operates above the Libyan law, it has no respect to rulings of the courts, it runs its own detention centers and prisons beyond the supervision of the Justice Ministry and have publicly defied orders by the Justice Minister to release detainees who were either cleared by the courts of any wrong doings or have served their sentences.
While welcoming the good news of the release of the journalists, Human rights Solidarity calls on the Libyan Government to:
• Ensure the safety and wellbeing of the journalists, and compensate them of the emotional and physical distress, which they and their families endured.
• Launch a judicial investigation into, led by the Justice Ministry, this unlawful detention of the journalists and prosecute those found guilty of transgressing the criminal procedures code.
• Reign in ISA and compel it to abide by the law. This is the only way to stop the transgressions of ISA and put an end to its habits of terrorizing the citizens and resident expatriates in Libya.
Human Rights Solidarity