인권뉴스

지체되는 리비아 개혁, 인권 위협해

국제앰네스티는 새 보고서를 통해 리비아가 국제적 지위 향상을 위해 노력함에도 불구하고 개혁의 지체로 인해 인권이 위협받고 있음을 경고했다.이번에 새로 나온 보고서 ‘리비아의 내일’: 어떠한 인권적 희망이 있는가? 는 간통죄에 대한 태형, 무기한적 구금, 이주민, 난민, 비호신청자들에 대한 착취, 반정부인사들의 강제실종 등의 내용을 담고 있다. 한편, 이같은 문제와 관련해 보안군은 불처벌을 누리고 있다.

국제앰네스티 하시바 하지 사라위(Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui) 중동 및 북아프리카국 부국장은 “리비아가 국제적 신뢰를 위한다면, 당국은 그 누구도 법 위에 서있지 않음을 명심하고 모든 이들, 특히 약자와 소수자들이 법적으로 보호 받을 수 있도록 해야 한다”고 말했다.

보안군의 폭력행사는 지속되고 있다. 특히, 내부보안국(ISA)은 “테러리즘” 관련 활동에 가담하거나 반정부적 성향을 보이는 이들의 체포, 구금 및 신문을 일삼고 있다. 구금된 개인들은 오랫동안 사회에서 단절되고 고문당하거나 변호사 고용을 거부당하고 있다.

불법 구금된 이들을 포함한 수백명이 복역기간을 마치거나 법원에 의해 혐의가 취하됐음에도 불구하고 아직까지 리비아의 감옥에 수감돼있다.

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Human rights suffer as Libya stalls on reform

23 June 2010

Human rights are suffering in Libya as it continues to stall on reform, Amnesty International has warned in a new report, despite the country’s efforts to play a greater international role.

‘Libya of Tomorrow’: What Hope for Human Rights? documents floggings used as punishment for adultery, indefinite detentions and abuses of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers as well as the legacy of unresolved cases of enforced disappearances of dissidents. Meanwhile, the security forces remain immune from the consequences of their actions.

“If Libya is to have any international credibility, the authorities must ensure that no-one is above the law and that everyone, including the most vulnerable and marginalized, is protected by the law. The repression of dissent must end,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Director at Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa programme.

Violations continue to be committed by the security forces, particularly the Internal Security Agency (ISA), who appear to have unchecked powers to arrest, detain and interrogate individuals suspected of dissent or of terrorism-related activities. Individuals can be held incommunicado for long periods, tortured and denied access to lawyers.

Hundreds continue to languish in Libyan jails after serving their sentences or having been cleared by the courts despite hundreds of releases in recent years, including of those detained unlawfully.

Mahmud Hamed Matar has been imprisoned since 1990. He was first held without trial for 12 years; and then convicted in a grossly unfair trial to life imprisonment. Statements reportedly obtained under torture or other duress were used as evidence.

His brother Jaballah Hamed Matar, a Libyan dissident, forcibly disappeared in Cairo in 1990. The Libyan authorities have not taken steps to investigate his disapperance.

During its visit to Jdeida Prison in May 2009, Amnesty International found six women convicted of zina (defined in Libyan law as sexual relations between a man and a woman outside a lawful marriage). Four of them were sentenced to between three and four years’ imprisonment and two were sentenced to 100 lashes. Thirty-two more women were awaiting trial on charges of zina.

Mouna [not her real name] was arrested in December 2008, shortly after giving birth. The hospital administration at the Tripoli Medical Centre allegedly informed the police that she had given birth to a child outside marriage. She was arrested at the hospital, tried shortly and sentenced to 100 lashes.

The Libyan authorities also use the “war on terror” to justify the arbitrary detention of hundreds of individuals viewed as critics or a security threat, following the September 11th 2001 attacks in the US.

The US has returned a number of Libyan nationals from its Guantánamo bay detention centre or secret detention, including Ibn Al Sheikh Al Libi who is reported to have committed suicide in 2009 while being held in Abu Salim Prison. No details of the investigation into his death have been made public.

Libyan nationals suspected of terrorism-related activities returned to the country remain at risk of being detained incommunicado, tortured and tried in grossly unfair proceedings.

Amnesty International has observed a modest increase in the flexibility of the Libyan authorities towards criticism. Since late June 2008, protests by families of victims of the Abu Salim Prison killings of 1996, in which up to 1,200 detainees are believed to have been extra-judicially executed, have been allowed to take place.

But activists continue to face harassment including arrest; and the authorities have yet to respond to their demands for truth and justice.

Libya has released about 15 prisoners of conscience in the past two years; but failed to compensate them for violations suffered or to reform draconian legislation curtailing the rights to freedom of expression and association.

Migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers, many from across Africa, attempting to seek sanctuary in Italy, and the EU, instead face arrest, indefinite detention, and abuse in Libya, the report finds.

The country is not a signatory to the 1951 UN Convention on Refugees, so refugees and asylum-seekers risk being sent home regardless of their need for protection. In early June, the Libyan authorities told the UNHCR to leave the country, a move likely to have a severe impact on refugees and asylum seekers.

The death penalty continues to be used widely in Libya, with foreign nationals particularly affected it seems and can be imposed for a wide range of offences, including activities that amount to the peaceful exercise of rights to freedom of expression and association.

There were 506 individuals on death row in May 2009, around 50 per cent of them foreign nationals, the Director General of the Judicial Police told Amnesty International.

“Libya’s international partners cannot ignore Libya’s dire human rights record at the expense of their national interests,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui.

“As a member of the international community, the Libyan authorities have a responsibility to respect their human rights obligations, and tackle their human rights record instead of concealing it. The contradiction of Libya being a member of the UN Human Rights Council, while refusing for the body’s independent human rights experts to visit the country is striking.”

The report, which covers developments up to mid-May 2010, is partially based on Amnesty International’s findings during a week-long visit to Libya in May 2009, the organization’s first visit for five years.

The visit followed lengthy negotiations with the relevant authorities, with Amnesty International seeking to visit cities in the south-east and east of the country as well as Tripoli. In the event, the itinerary was limited to Tripoli and a short visit to Misratah.

The visit was facilitated by the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation, an organization headed by Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi the son of Libyan leader Colonel Mu’ammar al-Gaddafi which was instrumental in securing Amnesty International’s access to a number of detention facilities and has helped secure the release of detainees.

During the visit, Amnesty International’s delegates discussed the organization’s longstanding human rights concerns with senior government officials, met representatives of civil society institutions and obtained access to a number of detainees held on security grounds or as irregular migrants.

Libyan security officials prevented Amnesty International delegates from travelling to Benghazi as planned, in order to meet families of victims of enforced disappearance, and denied them access to several prisoners.

In April 2010, Amnesty International sent its findings to the Libyan authorities offering to integrate any feedback provided, but received no response.


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