For Immediate Release
Demonstration for Abu Salim Prison Massacre Victims
in Washington, D.C, at Dupont Circle
June 26, 2010, starting at 11 AM
A coalition of demonstrators will gather at Dupont Circle on Saturday June 26th at 11 AM to commemorate the 14th anniversary of the Abu Salim Prison Massacre in Libya, in which 1,200 political prisoners were slaughtered in one morning. Protestors, including Libyan dissidents, are gathering in solidarity with the victims’ families, who hold demonstrations regularly in Libya.
On June 29, 1996 Libyan Colonel Muammar Qaddafi ordered the mass killing of prisoners of consciousness at the notorious Abu-Salim prison in Tripoli, Libya. Inmates at the prison were never provided a fair day in court as due process of law is non-existent in Libya. Many were originally detained on suspicion of belonging to a political party, a crime punishable by death, under Qaddafi’s revolutionary decrees. As many as 1,200 prisoners perished in a matter of hours on the morning of June 29th, 1996. For years, families of the victims were led to believe their loved ones were alive before leaked reports confirmed the worst. Some families were sent certificates of death and warned not to ask questions. They continue to struggle as they seek to uncover the truth of what happened in Abu Salim and give their loved ones a proper burial. At a great risk to their own safety, and amid continued harassment by the state, they hold weekly protests in Libya bringing attention to their continued plight.
To date, the Libyan state has refused to tell the story of these prisoners. While acknowledging that the massacre took place, nobody has been held accountable. The Libyan regime refuses to hand over the remains of the victims to bring closure to their families. This demonstration is intended to commemorate the memory of the fallen victims, express solidarity with the families, and demand increased
international pressure on the Libyan regime to cooperate. Reputable human rights organizations have thoroughly examined the massacre and continue to demand increased cooperation from the Libyan regime but to no avail.
If you would like any information about this event, or to schedule an interview with members of the demonstration, please contact the persons listed above.