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We Reject Terrorist Label For Libya

On September 1, 2003, the Gaddafi regime will be marking its 34th anniversary since it seized power in Libya. Since consolidating its grip on the country, Libya has suffered tremendously in all aspects of life. During Gaddafi’s rule, the vast oil riches of Libya were redirected from development of the country to sponsoring Gaddafi’s schemes of failed military adventures against Libya’s neighbors, and to sponsoring acts of terror in different parts of the world. The misappropriation of Libya’s wealth has resulted in tremendous poverty and suffering to a nation that is well endowed in oil riches.

While Libya’s population remains Gaddafi’s primary victim, being subjected to public hangings, economic deprivation, absence of the most basic of human rights, denial of essential services of health and education, to outright campaigns of misinformation designed to prolong his tyranny; also citizens of other nations have fallen victim to his terrorism. The downing of a French airliner provides such an example. Most recently, Gaddafi has volunteered, under tremendous US pressure, to accept Libya’s responsibility for the Pan Am 103 tragedy over Lockebie, Scotland, despite the lack of incriminating, conclusive evidence. Since Gaddafi is the sole decision maker in Libya, his acceptance of Libya’s responsibility is tantamount to admission of his own guilt, therefore he should be tried in person for all past crimes attributed to Libyans, and should be tried for his crimes against Libyans, too. Libyans inside and outside of Libya have been subjected to his murderous ways; he sent assassins to murder his political opponents living outside of Libya. His thugs are still on the rampage, terrorizing and intimidating all those who dare speak out and criticize his regime.

We are deeply concerned to read press reports of an impending settlement of the dispute over the Pan Am 103 tragedy over Lockerbie, Scotland. According to news reports, Libya will pay compensation of 10 million dollars for each victim. The money will come from the Libyan treasury at the expense of millions of people in Libya, who are saddled with the expense of paying ransoms for Gaddafi’s crimes. The payment of such a vast sum of money will neither revive the dead nor will it heal the wounds of the grieving relatives; It is like rubbing salt in their deep wounds, not to mention, it is demeaning to the memory of those who died needlessly. Furthermore, such monies will result in more deprivation of innocent Libyans of their most basic needs.

We urge all members of the UN Security Council, the international community, relatives of the victims, human and legal rights organizations, and all those who believe in justice for all aggrieved individuals to refuse Gaddafi’s blood money and insist on his standing trial for all his crimes against humanity. Payments of ransom money can never be a substitute for justice based on the established norms of international behavior. We, as Libyan Americans, will keep this issue alive in all forums, and will continue to advocate an international trial for Gaddafi, as the sole perpetrator of all crimes committed in Libya’s name. Should the Libyan regime decide to pursue any Libyan expatriate or their relatives for daring to speak, we will bring the issue to the appropriate forums in the international community and the US administration in particular, and demand an appropriate punishment for Gaddafi. We simply refuse to tolerate any more of Gaddafi’s persecutions or accept the label of terrorism be attached to Libya because of his criminal, and bloody deeds.

I urge all Libyan expatriates to contant President George Bush, Secretary Powell to turn down Gaddafi's ransom money, and also to contact the UN Secretary-General and the Security Council to refuse Gaddafi's waste of Libya's wealth to cover up his crimes. You may cut and paste and use this letter or a modification of it. The addresses and telephone numbers are given below:

President George Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Telephone: 202 456 1414
Fax: 202 456 2461

Scretary Powell
US Department of State
Washington, DC 20520
Telephone:202 647 3672
Fax: 202 261 8577

President of the UN Security Council
United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017

Secretary-General Kofi Anan
UN General Assembly
United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017


Mohamed M. Bugaighis, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus of Statistics

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