Amara al-Khattabi was transferred to hospital during his hunger strike © Private
In November 2012 Libyan journalist Amara Abdalla al-Khattabi published the names of 84 allegedly corrupt judges in his newspaper. Just a list of names. One month later, he was arrested, charged and detained under Article 195 of the Penal Code for the “insulting of constitutional or popular authorities”. He is now facing a prison sentence of 15 years. Article 195 was frequently used in the al-Gaddafi era to repress freedom of expression.
To protest his continued detention Amara went on a hunger strike in February 2013 and his health deteriorated. He only agreed to end his hunger strike when he was released on bail in April but now faces a travel ban in addition to the charges against him. His trial resumes on 23 June. If he is returned to prison Amara Abdalla al-Khattabi will once again become a prisoner of conscience.
Urge the President of the General National Congress to repeal Article 195, which unduly restricts freedom of expression, and to drop the charges against Amara.
I am calling on you to ensure that:
- All charges against Amara Abdalla al-Khattabi are dropped;
- Amara Abdalla al-Khattabi’s has the right to choose his own lawyer as part of his right to a fair trial;
- Amara Abdalla al-Khattabi’s travel ban is lifted.
I am also calling on you to repeal laws which unduly restrict freedom of expression to prevent the recurrence of situations like Amara Abdalla al-Khattabi’s.