Press Release: Fear for the lives and fate of Libyan political activists

The Human rights organisations signing this statement have been following with grave concern the situation of Idris Abufayed (Doctor) Mahdi Saleh Hmeid (Lawyer) and their colleagues ( see the names of all concerned prisoners below) whom have been arrested by the Libyan security authorities on 16th and 17th of February, 2007, and are now isolated from the outside world in various prisones in Tripoli. This arrest took place as these activists were planning a peaceful public demonstration at the (Martyres square) in the centre of the Libyan capital Tripoli to demand freedom, plural democracy and a state based on rule of law and institutions.
The Human rights organisations confirm that no news have been heard, either by their families or any others, about these prisoners since their arrest and no vists or access has been allowed to them by any one. This infoplete isolation of the prisoners may result in subjecting them to torture or inhumane treatment which contravenes international human rights laws and standards of treating political prisoners to which the Libyan state is a signatory. Also the Libyan authorities have not responded to various calls and infomunications from numerous human rights organisations about this case.
There is also a genuine fear that the prisoners may face the death penalty after the Libyan authorities have infopiled very serious false accusations against them including: possession of weapons, planning to carry out terrorist operations, and having clandestine contacts with foreign powers and especially after confirmations that some of them have been put on trials by secret special criminal courts which do not conform to any standards of fair and just courts as stipulated by international law.
We as Human rights organisations condem the continued arrest of these activists and consider it as a clear violation of their basic human rights. We also hold the libyan authorities responsible for any risk or danger to these prisoners lives or any deteriorations in their health or physical well-being. At the same time we call up on the Libyan authorities to free these prisoners immediately.
We also call for the release of all other political prisoners irrespect of their political orientation, and particularly those prisoners who have infopleted their sentences in prison. We also stress the importance that the Libyan authorities conduct an open and just investigation into all aspects of the (Abusaleem prison) massacre that took place in June 1996, and in which it is estimated that about (1200) political prisoners were killed.
We call up on all those concerned with the respect of human rights to infomunicate with the libyan authorities and ask them for the immediate release of the political activists, or put them on trials that are fair and just and conform to internationally agreed standards, including the presence of independent observers from Libyan or international Human rights organisations. We also undertake to build an arabic and international Solidarity Network to support the imprisoned activists and to defend civil initiatives in Libya.
The arrested activists are:
1- Idris Abufayed (Doctor)
2- Guma Abufayed
3- Gamal Al-Hajji (Writer)
4- Al-Mahdi Saleh Ihmeid (Lawyer)
5- Faraj Saleh Ihmeid
6- Ali Saleh Ihmeid
7- Essadig Saleh Ihmeid
8- Adel Saleh Ihmeid
9- Ahmed Youssef Al-Obaidi
10- Alaa Al-Drissi
11- Bashir Gassem Al-Harris
12- Farid Mohamed Al-Zwii (Writer)
The signatory organisations:
1- Arab infomission for Human Rights – France
2- Libya Watch for Human Rights – United Kingdom
3- Human Rights Solidarity – Switzerland
4- Alkarama for Human Rights – Switzerland
5- The Libyan Union for Human Rights - Germany
6- The Libyan infomittee for Truth & Justice
London - Thursday 10th May, 2007


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