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Friday, 16 April, 2004

Libyans Demonstrating In London: Letter To Prime Minister Plair

The Right Honourable Tony Blair

Mr. Prime Minister,

At a time when the question of human rights is being totally and utterly ignored in Libya and every basic right of the Libyan citizen is being continuously and notoriously violated by the Libyan regime, Libya has been ironically accepted back from the cold into the folds of international acceptability merely by announcing that it will dismantle its WMD programme and by paying compensation for the horrendous Lockerbie bombing in 1988, the worst terrorist incident on UK territory. (These compensations, of course, will be taken from the Livelihoods of the Libyan People who already suffer financially under the present regiem).

We, the Libyan dissidents gathered this day, the 15th of April 2004 in memory of the murder of WPC Yvonne Fletcher on 17th April 1984 when a hail of bullets rose above the chanting of a peaceful demonstration by Libyan dissidents in front of the Libyan Embassy to find their target in a number of demonstrators and to strike WPC Yvonne Fletcher dead. The 7th of April is also associated with gross human rights violations which include: public hangings and violence which is engraved in the memory of all Libyans.

The Libyan regime should have first put its own house in order by improving the miserable human rights conditions of its own citizens.

The following are some of the most important aspects of the Libyan regimeís gross violation of human rights:

  1. Libya continues to enforce laws which provide cover and immunity for all forms of political, social and economic injustice. Such laws are in total breach of all international human rights conventions.

  2. The Libyan regime continues to maintain a structure where the three powers [the legislative, the executive and the judiciary] all overlap in such an unconstitutional manner as to render it impossible to call culprits to account and bring to justice violators of human rights in Libya. The importance of some form of legal protection for human rights cannot be overemphasized if we are to avert the situation where some people are forced to resort to violent means to resist dictatorship and oppression.

  3. The Libyan regime is perpetuating the status quo where corrupt personalities and institutions, who have been implicated in serious human rights violations during the last three decades, are allowed to continue exercising their illegal and grossly abusive practices.

  4. The Libyan regime continues to detain hundreds of prisoners of conscience without any fair or just trials. It has equally been turning a deaf ear to the repeated appeals to investigate the disappearance and death of large numbers of detainees at the Abu Saleem prison. The fact that Libya has now won itself the reputation of serving the longest prison sentences in the world to some of its political prisoners speaks volumes of its appalling human rights record.

  5. Libyan wealth continues to be spread unjustly within Libya with a few sections of the Libyan society, based on tribal or political affiliations, extorting the majority of the nationís wealth while the masses are denied basic rights to decent housing, satisfactory health care or adequate education. The result is an increasingly widening gap between social classes and a gross violation of human rights in Libya.

We, therefore on behalf of hundreds of thousands of Libyans suffering untold hardship and abuses to their basic rights implore the British Government to champion their cause and to bring, through dialogue and co-operation, to the attention of the Libyan regime in a very stern manner, the urgent and unconditional need to bring about the following BASIC and INITIAL improvements to its human rights situation:

  1. To investigate immediately the deaths of countless of Libyan citizens and citizens of other countries who have perished in prison or executed or shot or disappeared and whose cause of death and place of burial are not known to date. And to compensate their families accordingly.

  2. To release, without any condition or discrimination, all political prisoners and all prisoners of conscience (In particular those who have been sentenced to death)

  3. To abolish all laws pertaining to aggression and which permit the state to practise these abuses on a wide scale upon its citizens. Most notorious is law No. 71 prohibiting the formations of parties for the year 1972. This law practically bans any person from forming any political, social or charitable organisation or group based on any ideology other than that of the 1st of September's revolution. The punishment handed down under this law is death. The law also punishes any person who, in any way, associates with, helps or knows of such a group. This category includes The law for the protection of the revolution of 11/12/1969 and the last but not least the law of honour or group punishments of 9th March 1997 which permits the Libyan Authority to demolish the homes of dissidents, hold their families responsible for their deeds, confiscate their properties and wealth and deny them their basic human and civil rights.

  4. The Libyan authorities must swiftly bring to an end their flagrant and tragic breach of human rights in Libya. The human rights situation should be looked at as a whole and its various aspects, political, intellectual, economic and social, all duly addressed. All courts operating outside the law must be abolished (these include the People's Court and revolutionary courts.

  5. To compel the ruling authorities in Libya to respect and implement all international treaties regarding Human Rights to which they are a co-signer.

  6. To investigate the circumstance behind the crash of the Libyan airline that was on an internal flight between Benghazi and Tripoli. Eyewitnesses claim that this plane was shot down by a missile fired by a jet fighter.

  7. The Libyan regime must also immediately bring about the necessary legislation to guarantee the protection of these rights.

  8. To initiate an independent investigation into the mass murder of hundreds of prisoners of conscience in the infamous Abu Sleem prison.

  9. To dismantle the terrorist militias belonging to the government such as the revolutionary committees and their security departments

  10. To remove all personal involved in Human Rights abuses from official government judicial posts and to investigate their involvement in such abuses with a view to punish those found guilty and compensate those who suffered at their hands.

Signed, this day the 15th of April 2004, by the Libyans demonstrating in front of 10 Downing Street, London.

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