The U.S. government must ensure that Ahmed Abu Khattalah, who is being held in secret and incommunicado detention, gets immediate and unrestricted access to a lawyer amid fears that he may be being held or interrogated in inhumane conditions, said Amnesty International today.
Ahmed Abu Khattalah has been allegedly charged with participation in an attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi in 2012 in which four U.S. nationals were killed. He was seized by U.S. forces in Libya on June 15 and is currently being held at an undisclosed location, possibly a U.S. naval vessel.
“While Ahmed Abu Khattalah is suspected of a serious crime, that does not mean his has forfeited his right to humane treatment and due process,” said Erika Guevara Rosas, Director of Amnesty International’s Americas Program.
“In addition to the absence of accountability for torture carried out under the Bush administration, there is still cause for concern about the USA’s treatment today of individuals suspected of involvement in terrorism,” Rosas said.
In a similar case last year, an abducted Libyan national was allegedly subjected to sleep deprivation during back to back interrogations during the week he was held on a U.S. ship before being brought to the USA.
The murder charges now faced by Ahmed Abu Khattalah are punishable by death in the USA.
Amnesty International is calling on the U.S. government to provide Ahmed Abu Khattalah immediate and ongoing access to legal counsel of his choice, independent medical care and consular assistance, and to ensure that he is treated in full compliance with international human rights law and standards.
Amnesty is also urging the U.S. government not to seek the death penalty against him in any forthcoming trial.
Man seized in Libya faces death penalty in USA
Index Number: AMR 51/037/2014
Date Published: 18 June 2014
A Libyan man seized by US forces in Libya on 15 June is being held incommunicado in US custody at an undisclosed location, possibly a ship. He could face the death penalty in the USA, where he has been charged with alleged participation in an attack on the US diplomatic mission in Benghazi in 2012 in which four US nationals were killed.
ذكرت ذلك وكالة “رويترز”. اعتقل أبو ختالة في 15 يونيو فى محيط مدينة بنغازي الليبية على يد القوات الخاصة الأمريكية. وهو موجود الآن على متن السفينة الأمريكية البرمائية “نيويورك” المتوجهة إلى شواطئ الولايات المتحدة، حيث سيمثل المتهم هناك أمام المحكمة. من جهتها صرحت السلطات الليبية أن إلقاء القبض على المشتبه به من قبل الإستخبارات الأمريكية داخل ليبيا يعتبر انتهاكا لسيادة البلاد. ومن الممكن أن تصر ليبيا على إعادة أبو ختالة إلى ليبيا لتتم محاكمته في وطنه فقط.
سبق أن تعرضت القنصلية الأمريكية في بنغازي في سبتمبر أيلول عام 2012 لهجوم إرهابي، أسفر عن مقتل أربعة مواطنين أمريكيين، بما في ذلك السفير الأمريكي.