Document - Libya: Further information: Detained journalist’s health at risk: Amara Abdalla al-Khatabi

URGENT ACTION

Further information on UA: 49/13 Index: MDE 19/002/2013 Libya Date: 11 March 2013

URGENT ACTION

Detained journalist’s health at Risk

Libyan newspaper editor Amara Abdalla al-Khatabi, who has been detained incommunicado since 19 December, began a hunger strike on 28 February 2013. His health is deteriorating. The Minister of Justice has called for him to be released on bail.

Amara Abdalla al-Khatabi, 67, has been on hunger strike since 28 February in protest against his arrest and continued detention in Hudba Prison in Libya’s capital, Tripoli. He is believed to have been arrested in relation to an article he published alleging corruption within the judiciary. He appeared in court on 11 March but his health was so poor that he had to be supported into the court, and his lawyer has claimed that he lost consciousness during the hearing. Amara Abdalla al-Khatabi has also decided to stop speaking until he is released. His lawyer has asked that Amara Abdalla al-Khatabi be released on bail or transferred to a hospital but both requests have been denied.

The trial was postponed until 18 March at the request of Amara Abdalla al-Khatabi’s lawyer, after he was granted permission by the judge to access his client’s files and visit him in prison in the next few days. He expressed concern to Amnesty International that his access to both the files and his client might be made more difficult, in order to hinder his work on the case.

According to Libyan media, the Minister of Justice, Salah Marghani, told a press conference on 4 March that Amara Abdalla al-khatabi should be released on bail, and stressed the need to respect press freedom and freedom of expression.

Please write immediately in Arabic, English or your own language:

Urging the Libyan authorities to release Amara Abdalla al-Khatabi immediately and unconditionally, if he has been detained solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression;

Calling on them to ensure that Amara Abdalla al-Khatabi is immediately granted adequate medical care , outside prison if necessary;

Recognizing the Minister of Justice’s statement on the case of Amara Abdalla al-Khatabi and urging him to do his utmost to secure his release.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 22 APRIL 2013 TO:

Minister of Justice and Human Rights

Salah Marghani

Ministry of Justice and Human Rights

Fax: +218 2 14 80 54 27

(if voice answers, say "Fax") (Fax is the only reliable communication method; please do not send letters)

Salutation: Your Excellency

Minister of Interior

Ashur Shuwail

Fax: +218 2 14 80 36 45

+218 21 44 42 997 (keep trying)

(Fax is the only reliable communication method; please do not send letters)

Salutation: Your Excellency

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. This is the first update of UA 49/13. Further information: www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE19/001/2013/en

URGENT ACTION

Detained journalist’s health at RiSK

ADditional Information

Amara Abdalla al-Khatabi was arrested on 19 December 2012, the month after his newspaper published a list of 84 judges it said were involved in corruption. The newspaper had obtained the list from a source whose identity Amara Abdalla al-Khatabi has kept confidential. Since his arrest, his family and lawyers have been denied permission to visit him in prison and his lawyer has not been able to see his client’s files. His lawyer was finally given permission to see the files during the 11 March court session.

Charges have been levelled against Amara Abdalla al-Khatabi in two separate cases, one relating to his newspaper’s registration and the other relating to charges of libel and offending the judicial institution. If he is convicted, he faces up to five years' imprisonment. Up until his court session on 11 March, Amara Abdalla al-khatabi had not been informed or brought to any of his assigned court sessions, which have been repeatedly postponed.

Name: Amara Abdalla al-Khatabi

Gender m/f: m

Further information on UA: 49/13 Index: MDE 19/002/2013 Issue Date: 11 March 2013

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