131 prisoners of conscience have started a hunger strike on Monday the second of January 2006 in the prison of Abu Saleem in Tripoli, Libya. These prisoners of conscience include the prisoners of the panned, nonviolent Muslim Brotherhood Movement. The hunger strike is in protest for their continued detention without a valid reason and the persistent abuse of their basic human rights. The hunger strike comes after numerous failed attempts to contact the authorities through the prison management.
The demands of the striking prisoners of conscience were put to the prison authorities and were:
1) To implement the numerous promises made by the Libyan authorities to release all prisoners of conscience.
2)To abolish all exceptional legislations that conflict with basic freedoms and all special courts that are currently used after the Peoples Court has been abolished.
3) To implement the promises of reforms that have yet to see daylight.
The Muslim Brotherhood prisoners are prisoners of conscience who have not been known to use or advocate violence. They have been arrested in June of 1998 and their case has become known as the Muslim Brotherhood case. They include numerous university staff members and students and business men and other sections of society. They include Dr. Abdullah Ezzaldeen, Dr. Salem Abu Hanak, Dr. Rajab Al Jaroushi, Dr. Abdullah Shamia, Dr. Suliman Khatroush and Dr. Suliman Al Fandi. Amnesty International has frequently called upon the Libyan Authority to release them immediately as they are known prisoners of conscience.
We, in Libya Watch announce our support for the striking prisoners of conscience and demand that the Libyan authorities carry out the following:
1. Ensuring the safety of these prisoners and carry out their just demands that are guaranteed by all international Laws and treaties.
2. To respect all promises and international treaties regarding human rights especially since Libya is a signatory to these treaties.
3. To immediately release all prisoners of conscience without prejudice and to abolish all unjust laws, rules and regulations that allow the security apparatus to widely practice these atrocities.
4. To permit NGO's that are concerned with human rights to operate inside the country so as to guarantee respect of these rights and that the security apparatus does not abuse these rights.
Libya Watch, also calls upon all organizations and societies concerned with human rights to demand that the Libyan Authorities to ensuring the safety of these prisoners and carry out their just demands that are guaranteed by all international Laws and treaties.
Libya Watch executive committee
Manchester the 3rd of January 2006