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Forum For Libyan Democrats - UK
Sunday, 28 March, 2003

An Open Letter To British Prime Minister Blair

25 March 2004

The RH Tony Blair, MP
10 Downing Street
London SW1

Dear Prime Minister

On behalf of all the Libyan democrats, I would like to express my opinion regarding your visit to Libya.

I would like to believe that your visit today represents a great opportunity to make your mark towards the lifting of 35 years of oppression, torture, murder and terrorism executed by this vicious dictator of Libya against the Libyan people and the people of many other countries, including Britain and America. I can assure you that anything else that results from your visit today is of no concern to the Libyan people. There has never been a more desperate time for Gaddafi than today. He believes by cooperating with the west in abandoning his WMD programs and fighting Alqaeda, he thinks, he will be let off the hook once again to continue his repressive policies against the five million people of Libya. The big business contracts that may result from this visit and in these circumstances will not improve the ordinary Libyan chances of a better life and will not benefit the ordinary British citizen. In contrast, such big business deals in this situation can only lengthen the life of this oppressive regime and allows him to squander any income the regime gets from it in his own lavish and corrupt ways on himself and his cronies. For Gaddafi to relinquish power and repression willingly after all these years is just one of those things that we the Libyans cannot even contemplate. Just as you said you will never do a deal with Alqaeda because of what it represents, please allow us to believe in the same with regard to Gaddafi because we know what he had represented in the past.

Many Libyans during the last 35 years became Muslim extremists and joined Alqaeda and other militant groups. This phenomena, which is completely alien to the values and tolerant culture of Libyans, could only have happened because of the existence of such barbaric and tyrannical regime which burnt libraries and bookshops so people do not read, banned the learning of foreign languages, proscribed all types of western musical instruments, banned all foreign newspapers and journals and destroyed all of Libya's educational institutions. Apart from the mosques and the security infiltrated and heavily guarded and dictated peoples committees, no group of people are allowed to freely gather and express themselves. Many simple and basic activities are punished by death in Libya, which include, among many, the forming of a political party and speaking against Gaddafi or his policies. Many other basic things are also not allowed in Libya: Owning more than one home, owning your own business, having a free newspaper or expressing yourself freely in any shape or form. It is a long list and I can go on and on.

After 35 years of savage dictatorial practices and terrorism, the only hope for the Libyan people and for the world of a stable and cooperating Libya is for it to be helped in establishing a real democratic system which allows all Libyans to freely choose their government and for their human rights to be fully respected. Otherwise, Libya will continue to serve as a fertile ground for extremists and terrorists from all over the globe and its people will continue to suffer endlessly.

Khaeri Aboushagor
Forum for Libyan Democrats

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