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Forum For Libyan Democrats - UK

Wednesday, 29 February, 2006


www.flduk.org


Libya In The British House Of Commons

The Forum for Libyan Democrats in its continuing efforts to highlight the issues of human rights and lack of democracy in Libya has been in contact recently with Dr. Andrew Murrison, MP for Westbury (conservative), regarding the recent visit to Libya by the British Home Secretary, Charles Clark. In particular, we thought this was a good time to raise once again these important issues to remind the British government of its responsibilities in pressing the Libyan regime to change its policies and allow the Libyan people to choose their government freely and to legislate for the full respect of human rights in Libya. The British Home Secretary's visit coincided with the recent killing of thirteen demonstrators in Benghazi in February 2006 by the Libyan security personnel, which so far no one has been brought in front of a court to justify the reasons behind the killings.

In addition to the above issues, Dr Murrison was kindly asked to find out more about the unresolved case of Yvonne Fletcher and the training of Libyan security personnel by the British authorities, and especially whether any of them was involved in the recent Benghazi massacre.

Dr Murrison was behind the EDM (Early Day Motion) tabled in the British parliament in June 2005 http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=28667

We would like to extend our sincere thanks to him and we look forward to seeing more British MPs taking on the Libyan case to help its people get rid of dictatorship and enjoy the freedoms and democracy the British people have been enjoying for a very long time.

Last week, Dr Murrison tabled a number of questions related to Libya in the British House of Commons. Dr. Kim Howells, the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, provided the answers to these questions on the 22nd of March 2006. The full session can be accessed on this link:
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/cgi-bin/newhtml_hl?DB=semukparl&STEMMER=
en&WORDS=murrison%20libya&ALL=murrison%20libya&ANY=&PHRASE=&CATEGORIES=&SIMPLE=
&SPEAKER=&COLOUR=red&STYLE=s&ANCHOR=muscat_highlighter_first_match&URL=
/pa/cm200506/cmhansrd/cm060322/text/60322w16.htm#muscat_highlighter_first_match


The following is an extract from the recent questions and answers session:

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of human rights in Libya since 2003; and if he will make a statement. [60213]

Dr. Howells: The Government remain concerned about the human rights situation in Libya. We welcome the opening of a dialogue between the Libyan authorities and groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, and progress made in the joint programme on prison management between the Libyan Secretariat of Justice and the International Centre for Prison Studies, financed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Global Opportunities Fund. We also welcome the abolition of the Revolutionary Guards Courts, the recent debate in the Basic People's Congresses on the possible abolition or further restriction of the death penalty, and the release of political prisoners this year.
The Government will continue to work with the Libyan authorities to encourage them to move towards internationally accepted standards on human rights and the rule of law.

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with Libyan authorities about the freedom of Libyan journalists and political prisoners; and if he will make a statement. [60217]

Dr. Howells: There have been no ministerial discussions. The Government remain concerned about the lack of freedom of expression in Libya, including a free media. We have welcomed the release of 14 political prisoners in January 2006 and hope for further releases. We will continue to monitor and raise these issues with the Libyans.
The Government also welcome the opening of dialogue between the Libyan authorities and groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

Khaeri Aboushagor
Forum for Libyan Democrats
admin@flduk.org
Tel: +447747896370


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