Man detained for raising human rights
An outspoken critic of the human rights record of Libya, Jamal al-Hajji, was arrested on 9 December and apparently transferred to prison. Amnesty International considers him a prisoner of conscience, detained solely for his criticism of the Libyan authorities.
Jamal al-Hajji had been told by phone in the evening of 8 December to present himself the next day at 9am for questioning at the State Security Prosecution Office in the capital, Tripoli. He went there as instructed, and at about noon, he was able to call his wife and tell her that he was being taken to Jdeida prison in Tripoli. His family has not heard from him since then, and the authorities have not officially informed his family that he has been arrested.
Jamal al-Hajji received a previous summons from the State Security Prosecution Office on 5 November, telling him to attend to testify about a complaint he had presented to the Secretary of the General People's Committee for Justice (equivalent to justice minister), Mustafa Muhammad Abdeljalil. In his complaint, he had criticized the authorities failures in the administration of justice in Libya, the treatment, including torture, of Libyan prisoners, the continued arbitrary detention of people after acquittal by courts, and abuses committed by the security forces. He was questioned about this complaint, and released without charge.

Jamal al-Hajji had submitted this complaint after he was released from prison in March 2009: he had been detained since February 2007. In June 2008, he had been sentenced by the State Security Court, after an unfair trial, to 12 years' imprisonment for vaguely worded offences such as "attempting to overthrow the political system," "spreading false rumours about the Libyan regime" and "communicating with enemy powers." Jamal al-Hajji was arrested and tried in relation to a statement published on news websites calling for a peaceful demonstration to be held on 17 February 2007 to commemorate the killing by the security forces of at least 12 people and the injuring of scores more during a demonstration in Benghazi, the second largest city in the country,
PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Arabic or your own language:
Expressing concern that Jamal al-Hajji was arrested on 9 December;
Urging the authorities to release Jamal al-Hajji immediately and unconditionally, as Amnesty International believes that he has been detained solely for the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression;
Calling on them to ensure that Jamal al-Hajji is not subjected to torture or other ill-treatment in custody, is allowed regular visits by his family and lawyers, and receives any medical assistance he may require.
Secretary of the General People's Committee for Public Security
General Abdul Fatah al Younis Ubeidi I
Secretariat of the General People's Committee for Public Security, Tripoli
Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
Fax: +218 214442903
Email: minister@almiezan.net
Salutation: Your excellency
Secretary of the General People's Committee for Justice
Mustafa Muhammad Abdeljalil
Secretariat of the General People's Committee for Justice
Al-Salad Street, Tripoli
Great Socialist Peoples Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
Fax: +218 21 4805427/
+218 21 4809266
Salutation: Your Excellency
And copies to:
Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi
Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation
El-Fateh Tower, 5th Floor no. 57, Tripoli
Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
Fax: +218 21 3350263/
+218 21 477 8766
Email: director@gdf.org.ly
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.
Man detained for raising human rights
The State Security Court and Prosecution Office were established in August 2007. The State Security Prosecution Office is supposed to investigate and prosecute crimes against state security, and unauthorized political activities.
Freedom of expression, association and assembly are tightly restricted in Libya in law and practice. Law No. 71 of 1972 on the Criminalization of Parties bans any form of group activity based on a political ideology opposed to the principles of the al-Fateh Revolution of 1 September 1969, which brought Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi to power. A number of provisions in the Libyan Penal Code severely limit the right to freedom of expression and have been used to repress those suspected of being opposed to or critical of the current political system.
Journalists, families of victims, political activists and other who criticize the authorities or seek to organize meetings or demonstrations to protest against the government risk arrest and other forms of intimidation and harassment.
UA: 332/09 Index: MDE 19/006/2009 Issue Date: 09 December 2009
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