|Statement By The Demonstrators|
Opposite The Ruling Libyan Regime Embassy In London
On The 35th Anniversary Of The Gaddafi Coup Detat
September 1st, 2004 is the 35th anniversary of the day when the military junta led by Gaddafi seized state power from the people of Libya. This is a day of infamy in the modern history of Libya. Since then, Gaddafi ruled with ruthlessness the country had never experienced in its entire history. He destroyed all forms of freedom and democracy and abused the human rights of all.
We stand here today to commemorate this day with hopes and expectations that the next year will better for Libyans than the last.
We hope that the international community realise the cruel nature of this brutal regime and its abysmal record in human rights. We seek the support of all those who cherish freedom and liberty all over the world to stand by the Libyan people in their quest to be set free from the tyranny of this regime.
Despite the recent publicity of the regime in its openness towards the west, very little has changed inside Libya. His tight grip of power and ruthlessness has never waned. All those who genuinely called for political reform and respect of human rights have been arbitrarily arrested, suppressed and brutally cracked. Political prisoners are still detained on a daily basis and put in many different jails, including the notorious Abu Saleem prison in Tripoli.
On this anniversary we call on all the Libyan political formations and movements that share our common allegiance to basic democratic values to let this event be the wake-up call to translate our hopes and dreams into a common will and a determination to force a change in our beloved country. The change we seek should ensure that Libya makes a decisive break with its horrific dictatorial past and paves the way for a free and democratic future. The Libyan people want to enjoy their rightful heritage of peace and prosperity and Libyans are well positioned with the help of others to achieve that. Let us not be deterred or discouraged by the threats or the actions of the Libyan regime in its desperate attempts to gain respectability despite its horrific record of abuse of all basic human rights. We quote a very famous freedom-fighter in his endeavour for peace and justice: "Our people have the right to hope, the right to a future, the right to life itself. No power on this earth can destroy the thirst for human dignity. Our land cries out for peace. We will only achieve it through adherence to democratic principles and respect for the rights of all. This is the challenge that faces all of us. We dare not fail."
We also on this anniversary urge the international community to join with us to demand:
- The unconditional release of all political prisoners.
- The cancellation of all the arbitrary, emergency and exceptional legislations implemented by the Libyan regime.
- The abolition of all of the revolutionary committees and the restoration of the Libyan constitution and parliament.
- To respond positively to our demand for a public and open dialogue with all democratic forces inside and outside the country to discuss ways and means of democratising the country and restoring the constitution and the rule of law.
- To hold accountable all those who perpetrated crimes against the Libyan people, including the commanders who ordered the slaughter of 1500 people in Abu Saleem prison in 1996.
London 2nd September 2004