UN not allowed private meeting with Saadi Qaddafi during prison visit

Editorial Comment:
This article has been edited to remove mention of bogus charges that have been fabricated to justify the cold-blooded murder (execution) of Saadi Qaddafi.  He has no defense counsel and has been tortured and held incommunicado since his illegal extradition from Niger.
– Alexandra Valiente

By Tom Westcott

A team from the UN Special Mission in Libya visited Saadi Qaddafi at Tripoli’s Hadba prison in October but did conduct a planned interview because a private meeting was not allowed.

“On 22 October, UNSMIL went to Hadba prison in Tripoli in order to visit a number of detainees including al-Saadi Qaddafi,” director of the human rights, transitional justice and rule of law division of UNSMIL Claudio Cordone said. “The prison authorities brought him to the presence of the UNSMIL team together with other detainees. However, the UNSMIL team declined to interview him or any of the other detainees as conditions for a meeting in private were not met.”

No international human rights organisations appear to have been granted a private meeting with Saadi since his extradition from Niger in March this year. Human Rights Watch (HRW) said it was unable to confirm any details about Saadi’s detention conditions, treatment or access to legal representation because HRW representatives had been unable to visit Saadi since his detention in Libya.

“While the general prosecutor did grant HRW access after repeated requests, it was not possible to date to coordinate a private visit with the prison authorities at Hadba,” the international human rights NGO said.

A date for Saadi to stand trial is expected to be announced by the Tripoli Appeals Court in the next two weeks.

Saadi was transferred to Hadba prison after his extradition from Niger in March this year. He is being held in the same prison facility in eastern Tripoli as a number of senior Qaddafi-regime figures are held.

Saadi’s trial would be conducted separately to the cases already underway of regime-era officials held in Tripoli and Misrata jails, and that of his brother Saif Qaddafi who is still being held in the mountain town of Zintan.

OHCHR in Libya
United Nations Mission Support in Libya
(UNSMIL) Tripoli, Libya
E-mail: cordone@un.org