In Violation Of International Law, Tunisia Extradites Baghdadi Al-Mahmoudi To Libya

Former Libyan Prime Minister Al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi had been kept a jail near Tunis.
Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi

Dr. Baghadi Al-Mahmoudi’s Press Statements
Statement Of The Libyan People’s National Movement On The Criminal Extradition Of al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi
Al-Baghdadi Al-Mahmoudi Tortured And In Hospital
Extradition To Libya = Extradition To Torture

Mabrouk Khorchid, Mahmoudi’s lawyer in Tunisia, said neither he nor the former Libyan prime minister’s family had been given any prior warning that he was about to be extradited.

“I believe this is a state crime and is against human rights,” he said. “This is a sad moment for human rights in Tunisia. I think he’s going to be tortured and treated illegally and believe that those who handed him over bear part of the responsibility.”

Khorchid said he had not been allowed to see his client for 20 days and had heard that Mahmoudi had been placed in solitary confinement and had suffered a nervous breakdown since Tunisia’s justice minister said last month that an extradition was imminent.

“We called the presidency and they said they had not signed the extradition order and we were surprised that he was handed over like this,” he said.

Tunisia extradited Libya’s former prime minister to his country on Sunday, despite concerns by international human rights groups that he could risk death or torture there.

Later Sunday, Libyan Prime Minister Abdurrahim el-Keib held a news conference in Tripoli to announce Al-Mahmoudi’s return.

“Today, he was delivered by the Tunisian government, and he’s now kept in prison managed by the Justice Ministry,” sald el-Keib, adding the former Libyan Prime Minister will be tried for alleged crimes against the Libyan people.

Al-Mahmoudi had been arrested in September while crossing the frontier into Tunisia as he sought refuge in Algeria, where members of Muammar Gaddafi’s family found sanctuary.

Libya had been clamouring for the repatriation of Al-Mahmoudi to answer for crimes he allegedly committed, but officials from the former regime have not fared well in the hands of the NTC, with Gaddafi and one of his sons being tortured and brutally executed upon capture last year.

In January, 15 Tunisian and international human rights groups, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, signed a statement opposing Al-Mahmoudi’s extradition, saying he risked death or torture if he was returned to Libya.

That concern had led to disagreement within Tunisia’s government about whether Al-Mahmoudi should be sent home.

Last month, Tunisia’s presidential spokesman, Adnan Mancer, said that would only happen if his life isn’t in danger there and he can be guaranteed a fair trial.

On Sunday, Mancer refused to confirm the extradition, saying: “We were not aware of any decision to that effect.”

© The Associated Press, 2012
The Canadian Press
Amnesty International - Logo

Tunisia: Extradition of former Libyan prime minister violates human rights

The extradition of former Libyan prime minister al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi from Tunisia puts him in danger of torture, unfair trial and even extrajudicial execution, Amnesty International said as it criticised the authorities in Tunis for their decision.

Al-Mahmoudi, who served as prime minister under Mu’ammar al-Gaddafi from March 2006 until he fled to Tunisia last year, was reportedly handed over to Libyan officials in Tunis on Sunday, and taken to a Libyan prison by helicopter.

Amnesty International had repeatedly urged the Tunisian authorities, including the President and Prime Minister, not to extradite him, arguing he could be subjected to human rights violations in Libya.

“Amnesty International condemns the decision of the Tunisian authorities to send al-Mahmoudi back to Libya, where he faces a real risk of torture and other ill-treatment, unfair trial and possibly extrajudicial execution,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

Amnesty International is also concerned that al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi may face the death penalty in Libya, which the organization opposes in all cases as the ultimate violation of the right to life.

“While all perpetrators of human rights violations must be brought to justice, by extraditing al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi, Tunisian authorities have not only violated their own law but also their international obligation not to return anyone to a country where they are at risk of human rights violations,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui.

“Whoever is found responsible for authorizing this extradition, and for violating the absolute prohibition on returning someone to a risk of torture, must be held to account.”

The former Libyan prime minister travelled to Tunisia after Colonel al-Gaddafi’s forces lost control of Tripoli in August last year. He was arrested in late September and sentenced to six months’ imprisonment for “illegal entry”, but acquitted on appeal later that month.

According to the extradition requests seen by Amnesty International, the charges brought against al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi in Libya include “misuse of public money”, “insult of civil servants”, “threatening security officials with weapons” and “incitement to commit rape”. The charges relate to incidents that allegedly took place between 2006 and 2011.

Al-Mahmoudi’s extradition had been approved by a Tunisian court of appeal in November last year, but was blocked by President Moncef Marzouki, the only authority under Tunisia law to allow such an extradition, who said he would not allow it because of human rights concerns.

The office of the Prime Minister has reportedly said his extradition was due to the decision of the Court of Appeals in November.

Marzouki, who is a former human rights activist, has denied that he authorized the extradition. Under Article 324 of Tunisia’s Code of Criminal Procedure, the President has the final decision on all extraditions.
Amnesty International said that in Libya the former prime minister must be granted access to lawyers, allowed to communicate with his family, and guaranteed a fair trial.

The organization has documented numerous recent cases in Libya where detainees signed confessions under torture or duress.

Amnesty International also has evidence of at least 20 cases of deaths in custody in Libya since August.

The prison in which al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi is held in is reportedly under the control of the Justice Ministry. Scores of Libya’s official and semi-official detention facilities are under the control of armed militia who are responsible for serious human rights abuses, including torture and other ill-treatment and even extrajudicial execution.

Extradition of Libyan ex-PM ‘illegal’: Tunisian President

TUNIS (AFP) – Tunisia’s President Moncef Marzouki denounced the extradition of Moamer Kadhafi’s former prime minister to Libya as “illegal” late Sunday, in a broadside at his country’s Islamist prime minister.

A statement from Marzouki’s office denounced Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali’s decision to extradite Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi, saying it had been taken without consulting him.

“The presidency of the Republic expresses its rejection of the decision of the head of government to extradite M. Mahmoudi and considers this decision is illegal, all the more so because it has been done unilaterally and without consulting the President of the Republic,” the statement said.

“The extradition decision, signed by the head of the Tunisian government, constitutes a clear violation of our country’s international commitments and those towards the UN,” the statement added.

“The president’s office holds the head of government responsible for anything that happens after the extradition…,” and for anything that subsequently befalls Mahmoudi.

Earlier Sunday, a spokesman for Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali told AFP it had extradited Mahmoudi, despite protests from his lawyers and rights groups that he faces execution back in Libya.

Mahmoudi, who served as Libya’s Prime Minister from 2006 until the final days of the legitimate government, fled to neighbouring Tunisia last September shortly after NATO mercenaries took the capital Tripoli.

Lawyers and rights groups had argued that he would be executed if returned to Libya and Tunisia’s president had also called for guarantees that Mahmoudi would receive a fair trial.

Libyan Prime Minister Abdel Rahim al-Kib insisted Sunday his rights would be protected.

“The Libyan government reiterates that the accused will receive good treatment in accordance with the teachings of our righteous religion and according to international standards of human rights,” he said.

Baghdadi Mahmoudi’s Defence Committee Considers His Extradition ‘Unlawful’

Tunis — The extradition of Baghdadi Mahmoudi, last prime minister under the regime of Muammar Gaddafi, took place Sunday at dawn, on decision of the Interim Government.

Members of the Defence Committee of Baghdadi Mahmoudi told TAP that their client was transferred from the Prison of Mornaguia to the Military Airport of Aouina at 5 a.m. ahead of his extradition to Libya.

They consider this operation as “illegal” and that it was conducted in a “surreptitious” way “without informing neither the committee members nor the family of their client.”

Mr. Mohamed Salah Hassen said the last meeting that representatives of the defence committee had had with their client Baghdadi Mahmoudi took place last Friday.

Counsel Lilia Mestiri described the decision to extradite Mahmoudi to the Libyan authorities as “illegal,” adding that “the operation had been conducted secretly, during a day off and in a shameful way.”

For his part, Mr. Maher Amayed described the decision taken by the Interim Prime Ministry to extradite Baghdadi Mahmoudi as violation of all the laws and commitments of Tunisia to international human rights defence organisations.

Conditions on the protection of extradited persons were not guaranteed, he added, saying that a government delegation had visited Libya two days ago without however making public its report on guarantees required in the extradition, contrary to what had been indicated by the President of the Republic a few weeks ago.

He also recalled that international human rights organisations, including Amnesty International and the Libyan Organisation for Defence of Human Rights, opposed the extradition of Baghdadi Mahmoudi in this delicate situation experienced by Libya.

Tunis Afrique Presse

Extradition of former Libyan PM likely to trigger political crisis in Tunisia

The extradition of former Libyan prime minister Baghdadi Mahmoudi on Sunday is likely to trigger a political crisis in Tunisia.

The decision to extradite Mahmoudi, taken without any concertation or the signature of Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki, was “illegitimate” and “unilateral,” Tunisian president’ s spokesman Adnene Mancer said in a written statement to media on Sunday evening.

The spokesman said the extradition was a “transgression of the president’s prerogatives,” adding that the president held Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali “fully responsible” for whatever might happen to Mahmoudi and its “consequences on the Troika,” referring to the ruling alliance composed of Ennahdha, CPR and Ettakatol.

The spokesman said the Troika had initially accepted to hand Baghdadi over to new Libyan authorities only after the country’s elections and the guarantee of a fair trial.

He said the commission, appointed by Tunisian president to ensure conditions for a fair trial in Libya, had not yet issued its report.

Tunisian President Marzouki thought the manner in which Mahmoudi was extradited undermines Tunisia’s image abroad, making it appear as an “irresponsible state,” the spokesman said.

Xinhua

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