24 March 2008
Libya: Death Under Torture
(Case JAL, SUMX; TOR)
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment informed the UN Human Rights Council, during its present session (3-28 March) of the above case after submitting it to the Government of Libya for comments: No reply received. Here are the details of the case as reported by the Special rapporteur:
“Ismail al-Khazmi, born in 1976, was an engineer working in the oil fields of AGB GAS in Melita (Sebrata). On 17 June 2006 at 11 a.m. agents of the internal security services (Al-Amn Addakhili) arrested Mr. Al-Khazmi at his place of work. According to the statements of his co-workers, the detaining officers neither showed an arrest warrant nor informed him of the reasons for his arrest. It is not known where he was taken by the security officers. His parents repeatedly sought information on his fate, but the authorities refused to acknowledge that he had been detained and thus to provide any information. It would appear, however, that Mr. Ismail Al-Khazmi was held at Asseka Prison in Tripoli, where he was repeatedly severely ill-treated. On 29 June 2006, he was again beaten and then suspended from the ceiling in the presence and under the direction of an Al-Amn Addakhili officer. Three further Al-Amn Addakhili officers were present. In the afternoon of 29 June 2006, Mr. Al-Khazmi was taken away from the prison in a Peugeot car, unconscious but still alive. He has not been seen again thereafter.
On 1 May 2007, Mr. Ibrahim Aboubekr Al-Khazmi, the father of Mr. Ismail Al Khazmi, was summoned to the office of the commander of Asseka Prison. The prison commander told him that his son was dead and asked him to sign a document in order to obtain the remains. The father asked for explanations concerning the death of his son and, not having received a satisfactory reply, insisted that an autopsy be carried out by a physician of his choice. The prison commander refused this request. Mr. Ibrahim Aboubekr Al-Khazmi therefore retained a lawyer, who requested formally that an autopsy be carried out and filed a complaint against those responsible for Ismail Al- Khazmi’s death. The prosecutor general summoned the officers on duty at Asseka Prison at the time of Ismail Al Khazmi’s detention to obtain their statements. The Secretary of the Popular Committee on General Security, who is the secretary in charge of the Ministry of Interior, opposed their appearance and refused to authorise an inquiry. As of today, notwithstanding the threats and other forms of pressure received, Mr. Ibrahim Aboubekr Al-Khazmi refuses to pick up his son’s body at the morgue of the Tripoli hospital as long as the circumstances of his son’s death are not clarified”.
The Libyan League for Human Rights calls on the Government of Libya to open an independent investigation of the death under torture of Mr. Al Khazimi and to bring the perpetrators of this odious and barbaric crime to justice. We also call on the Government to take immediate action to put an end to the continuing practice of TORTURE which is still widely practiced by “revolutionary zealots” in official prisons and in secret places of detention.