Press Release :|
LHRS calls for Investigation into the circumstances of the death
of Ali Abdul-Hamid al-Fakhiri “Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi”
14.05.2009 --- PR-lhrs-11-0009
Ali Abdul-Hamid al-Fakhiri, known also as “Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi”, is another victim of forced deportation to Libya. He should not have been deported to Libya, and his deportation is a clear violation of international law, specifically article 3 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
A Libyan newspaper “Oea”, owned by Seif al-Islam, one of the sons of Colonel Gaddafi, reported on Sunday 10th May 2009, that al-Fakhiri was found dead in his cell and that the cause of death was suicide. There was neither mention of the location nor the date of the alleged suicide.
Mr. al-Fakhiri was last seen at Abu Salim on 27th April 2009, when he met briefly with human rights researchers from Human Rights Watch, who were on fact-finding mission to Libya. LHRS also learned from sources, close to his family in his home town Ajdabiya that his family, mother and brothers, visited him in prison in April 2009, and according to these sources he appeared in good health and high spirits. They report that he expressed his optimism of eminent release.
LHRS's sources confirmed that the local branch of the Internal Security Agency in Ajdabiya handed over the body of Mr. al-Fakhiri on 12th May 2009, and that he was buried in the local cemetery on the same day. His relatives are in chock of this sudden turn of events, and reportedly expressed their doubts of the suicide narrative.
Human Rights Solidarity calls on the Libyan authorities:
· To carry out thorough and complete investigations into the circumstances of the death of Ali Abdul-Hamid al-Fakhiri, and demands that the findings made public.
· Reveal all information regarding the case of Ali Abdul-Hamid al-Fakhiri, his illegal arrest, rendition and torture in American & Egyptian detention facilities.
· Ensure full protection to all those who have been deported to Libya and grant them full rights.
Human Rights Solidarity calls on all nations to stop the deportation of Libyan nationals to Libya, in cases where there are substantial grounds for danger of torture or treat to life.
Human Rights Solidarity
Geneva, 14th May 2009
1. Human Rights Watch:
Al-Libi was born in 1963 in Ajdabiya, Libya. After his arrest in Pakistan in late 2001, al-Libi was sent by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to Egypt in 2002, under the procedure known as “rendition.” According to a CIA declassified cable and a US Senate report, he was tortured in Egypt and gave false information about a link between Iraq and al-Qaeda that Colin Powell, then the secretary of state, used in his speech to the UN Security Council on the planned war with Iraq. Al-Libi was later held by the CIA in a series of secret prisons in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
Al-Libi was returned from US custody to Libya in late 2005 or early 2006 and was detained at Abu Salim prison. The Abu Salim prison authorities told Human Rights Watch in April 2009 that he had been sentenced to life imprisonment by the State Security Court, a court whose trial proceedings fail to conform to international fair trial standards.
Human Rights Watch briefly met with al-Libi on April 27 during a research mission to Libya. He refused to be interviewed, and would say nothing more than: “Where were you when I was being tortured in American jails.” Human Rights Watch has strongly condemned the CIA’s detention program and documented how detainees in CIA custody were abused, but, like other human rights groups, was never granted access to prisoners in CIA custody.
While the Human Rights Watch researchers were unable to interview al-Libi, they did interview four other Libyan prisoners, at Abu Salim prison on April 27, whom the CIA had sent to Libya under the rendition process in 2004 to 2006. The men claimed that before they were sent to Libya, US forces had tortured them in detention centers in Afghanistan, and supervised their torture in Pakistan and Thailand.
2. Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (Article 3):
1. No State Party shall expel, return ("refouler") or extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture.
2. For the purpose of determining whether there are such grounds, the competent authorities shall take into account all relevant considerations including, where applicable, the existence in the State concerned of a consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or mass violations of human rights.
Human Rights Solidarity
c/o Maison des Associations, 15 rue des savoises, 1205 Genève, Switzerland
Tel: +41 78 304 92 91
Fax: +41 22 594 88 84