Document - Libya: Activist held incommunicado in Libya: Ahmed Ali Abdel Rahman Abou Raqba
UA: 295/12 Index: MDE 19/019/2012 Libya Date: 3 October 2012
URGENT ACTION ACTIVIST HELD INCOMMUNICADO IN LIBYA On 26 September, civil society activist Dr. Ahmed Ali Abdel Rahman Abou Raqba was detained at Riwami Prison in Tripoli, capital of Libya. He is being held incommunicado, and there are fears that his detention is linked to his activism. On 26 September, activist Dr. Ahmed Ali Abdel Rahman Abou Raqba (29) was arrested, allegedly at Riwami Prison – controlled by the Supreme Security Committee under the Ministry of Interior – in the Tripoli neighbourhood of Ain Zara. His visit to the prison is believed to be related to his role within the Libyana Foundation for Mother and Child (a civil society organization concerned primarily with the rights and wellbeing of mothers and children in Libya ), of which he is the head. Dr. Ahmed Ali Abdel Rahman Abou Raqba’s relatives were not informed of his detention, and were only told his whereabouts two days after his arrest through unofficial channels. Their requests to visit him have so far been denied by the prison administration, who acknowledged detaining him.
There are fears that Dr. Ahmed Ali Abdel Rahman Abou Raqba’s detention is linked to his work with the Libyana Foundation for Mother and the Child. On 2 October, Amnesty International sent letters to the Libyan Minister of Interior, Fawzi Abdelal, and the Supreme Security Committee, requesting that they clarify the legal status of Dr. Ahmed Ali Abdel Rahman Abou Raqba. They were urged to release him immediately and unconditionally if he is being held solely for his activism with the foundation. Dr. Ahmed Ali Abdel Rahman Abou Raqba has visited Riwami Prison on numerous occasions, in relation to his work with the foundation. He recently intervened in the cases of two sisters – Hasna Shaeeb and Hala Shaeeb – who were previously detained at the prison. Dr. Ahmed Ali Abdel Rahman Abou Raqba accompanied the sisters to the prison for questioning; intervened with officials on their behalf; and helped their relatives to lodge complaints about their detention with the general prosecution.
Please write immediately in Arabic, English or your own language: Urging the Libyan authorities to ensure that Dr. Ahmed Ali Abdel Rahman Abou Raqba is protected from torture or other ill-treatment; Expressing concern that he might be detained solely on the basis on his activism, in which case he should be immediately and unconditionally released. Otherwise, he should be immediately referred to the general prosecution to face recognizably criminal charges; Pending release or referral to the general prosecution, calling on the authorities to ensure that he is immediately granted access to his family and a lawyer of his choice.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 14 NOVEMBER 2012 TO: Minister of Justice and Human Rights H.E. Ali Hamida Ashour Ministry of Justice and Human Rights Fax: +218 2 14 80 54 27 (fax/phone line – say "Fax") (Fax is the only reliable communication method; please do not send letters) Salutation: Your Excellency
Minister of Interior H.E. Fawzi Abdelal Ministry Interior Fax: +218 2 14 80 36 45 +218 21 44 42 997 (Fax is the only reliable communication method; please do not send letters) Salutation: Your Excellency
And copies to: President of the Supreme Council for Human Rights and Freedoms Mr. Mohamed Allagi Supreme Council for Human Rights and Freedoms Fax: +218 2 14 44 73 77 (Fax is the only reliable communication method; please do not send letters) Salutation: Dear Mr. Mohamed Allagi
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.
URGENT ACTION ACTIVIST HELD INCOMMUNICADO IN LIBYA
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION Hasna and Hala Shaeeb were taken from their Tripoli home on 4 September by a group of around 10 armed men who identified themselves as belonging to the brigade Katibet Isnad al-Amn, under the Ministry of Interior. The sisters were detained at Riwami Prison until 7 September. They were recalled to the prison several times following their release, and rearrested again on 9 September. They were subsequently released without charge on 11 September and their passports were returned to them some two weeks later. Hasna Shaeeb’s case was referred to the Libyana Foundation for Mother and the Child, following her first arrest in October 2011 at the hands of armed men. She has told Amnesty International that during her three days’ detention in October 2011, she was given electric shocks, beaten and whipped until she lost consciousness and had urine poured on her (see Amnesty International, Libyan authorities must protect two sisters from harassment, 17 September 2012, http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/libyan-authorities-must-protect-two-sisters-harassment-2012-09-1).
The Libyana Foundation for Mother and the Child was founded in May 2012 and lists the promotion of the rights of detainees in accordance to international law and standards among its objectives.
Since the end of the Libyan armed conflict last year, thousands of individuals continue to be detained without charge or trial on suspicion of having fought for or supported the former government. Many have been tortured or otherwise ill-treated in detention. Most of the abuses are carried out by armed militias, who continue to arrest suspects without warrant.
Libyan authorities are required under international and national law to ensure that no one is subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Libya is a state party, states: “No one should be deprived of their liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedure as are established by law”. Article 14 of Libya’s Law No. 20 of 1991 on the Promotion of Freedoms stipulates: “No one can be deprived of his freedom, searched or questioned unless he has been charged with committing an act that is punishable by law, pursuant to an order issued by a competent court, and in accordance with the conditions and time limits specified by law”.
Name: Dr. Ahmed Ali Abdel Rahman Abou Raqba (m), Hasna Shaeeb (f), Hala Shaeeb (f) Gender m/f: both
UA: 295/12 Index: MDE 19/019/2012 Issue Date: 3 October 2012