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UNSMIL Demands Immediate Release of All Persons 'Arbitrarily' Detained in Libya

UNSMIL Demands Immediate Release of All Persons 'Arbitrarily' Detained in Libya

Saturday, 16 April, 2022 - 09:30
Libyans playing backgammon in the old city of Tripoli. (Reuters)

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has called for the immediate release of all individuals who have been arbitrarily detained in the country.

“All arrests and detentions must be based on the rule of law, in line with Libya’s human rights obligations,” UNSMIL stated in a tweet on Friday.

It also welcomed the recent releases of Faisal Gherghab, former head of the Libyan Post Telecom and Info Technology Company, Mohammad al-Qiblawi, head of the General Union of Libya Students, and Mansour Atti, head of the Libyan Red Crescent Society in Ajdabiya.

Libyan police forces have recently arrested a number of political and human rights activists, prompting international condemnations and demands for authorities to release the detainees and activate the rule of law.

Chargé d’Affairs of the United States embassy in Libya Leslie Ordman welcomed the release of several Libyans who were arbitrarily arrested.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, for his part, underlined the importance of human rights as part of the bilateral relationship between the US and Libya.

On January 10, the Deterrence Anti-Organized Crime and Terrorism Apparatus arrested Gherghab, while the police in Tripoli arrested other human rights activists on various charges.

Last week, the security apparatus also arrested 218TV correspondent Ali Al-Rifawi in Sirte city, in central Libya.

The Arab Organization for Human Rights (AOHR) in Libya expressed concern about Rifawi’s arbitrary arrest, stressing that he was detained “without any legal basis.”

The organization called for his immediate and unconditional release to fulfil Libya’s international obligations.

AOHR sources indicated that the reporter was arrested while covering the municipality work and reporting the suffering of citizens.

It said that detaining Rifawi for criticizing the local authorities “constitutes a restriction on freedom of expression and violates Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Reporters Without Borders has demanded the immediate release of Rifawi, who has been detained since March 26.

In a tweet on its official page, the organization held the Internal Security Agency responsible for his kidnapping, while referring to the harsh conditions that journalists are subjected to in the country.

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