Date: Fri, 3 Jul 98 13:00:16 CDT
From: Ray Mitchell <RMITCHEL%AI-UK@amnesty.org.uk>
Subject: AI: Libya bulletin
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL URGENT ACTION BULLETIN
Electronic distribution authorised
This bulletin expires: 12 August 1998. AI Index: MDE 19/07/98
Mohammad Faraj Al-Qallal, aged 39
Dr Salem Bu-Hanek, Head of the Chemistry Dept-University of Qar Younes in Benghazi, aged 40
Kamal Al-Wash, aged 36
Fawzi Bu-Ktef, engineer, aged 45
Faysal Mohammad Al-Safi, engineer, aged 42
Dr Rajab Amhammed Al-Jarroushi, university lecturer (Benghazi), aged 43,
Dr Sulayman ‘Ali Al-Khatroush, Head of the civil engineering Dept (University of Benghazi), aged 43
Dr ‘Abdallah Ahmad ‘Izzeddin, University lecturer (Tripoli), aged 47
‘Abd al-Rahman ‘Abd al-Majid Al-Dibani, medical doctor, aged 32
Fawzi Wanis Al-Qaddafi, oil engineer, aged 45
Ahmad Jaballah Al-Maghrebi, agricultural engineer, aged 33
AND Scores of others
There are grave concerns for scores of people, mainly professionals, whose whereabouts remain unknown since a wave of arrests began in early June 1998. There are fears they may be at risk of torture.
Those arrested, including the above-named, were mostly taken by security forces from their homes at night. They include university lecturers, engineers, medical doctors and civil servants. The arrests took place in a number of major cities, particularly Benghazi in northeast Libya. The majority are reportedly suspected of supporting or sympathizing with the Libyan Islamic Group, an underground non-violent Islamist movement similar to the Muslim Brothers in other Middle Eastern countries. Scores of others fled the country but family members left behind are said to be under constant harassment from the security forces.
The exact reasons behind this latest wave of arrests are not known but, according to some reports, those arrested, particularly the university lecturers, were said to have been suspected of being the main advocates for political change in a country where the government is experiencing increasing underground opposition.
Mohammad Faraj Al-Qallal, married with five children, is an executive in a printing house in Benghazi and a graduate from the Institute of Administrative Sciences in Benghazi. He was reportedly arrested from his house on 5 June by a number of masked plain-clothes security men. He was not given any reason for his arrest and, since 1 July, his family reportedly do not know where he is detained.
Ahmad Jaballah Al-Maghrebi was said to have been arrested near the Egypt-Libya border while trying to flee the country with his family. He was reportedly beaten in front of his family by the security men carrying out the arrest. The family subsequently returned to their Benghazi home.
Dr ‘Abdallah Ahmad ‘Izzeddin was reportedly arrested while he was giving a lecture at the nuclear engineering department in Qar Younes University in Benghazi.
Since the beginning of 1995 there have been numerous sporadic armed clashes between the Libyan security forces and members of armed Islamist groups, including the Islamic Fighting Group. These have mostly taken place in north eastern Libya.
Thousands of suspected Islamists are said to have been arrested in the last few years, most of whom are still believed to be held without charge or trial. Torture is routinely applied to detainees during interrogation to extract confessions. Methods include beatings (including falaqa-beating on the soles of the feet), hanging by the wrists from a ceiling or a high window, being suspended from a pole inserted between the knees and elbows, electric shocks, burning with cigarettes and attacks by aggressive dogs causing serious bite wounds. Psychological torture and ill-treatment include death threats and threats of abuse against the prisoner and his family, particularly female relatives.