By Alexandra Valiente
Viva Libya !
Da’esh would like the public to believe that Saif Gaddafi did not appear through closed circuit video link during the Tripoli session because of “technical difficulties“.
Da’esh would also like the public to believe that they are doing everything in their power to hold “fair trials” and that it is defense counsels that disrupt proceedings and obstruct justice. Today, Da’esh judges went as far as to issue fines of LD 50 to each absent lawyer.
What is not being disclosed is;
- Da’esh controls Tripoli, the judiciary, courts and prisons.
- Da’esh recently denied the UNSMIL permission to visit detainees at Hadba prison.
- All prisoners have been tortured.
- All political prisoners detained in Tripoli, Zintan and Misrata, are outside the jurisdiction of recognized state territory. Therefore, an order from the United Nations or the ICC demanding the release or surrender of a prisoner, would find no legitimate target.
- With a few, rare exceptions, detainees have no legal counsel. Many have been forced to accept court-appointed lawyers. Where families have appointed counsel on behalf of loved ones, they are prevented in various ways from attending hearings (including being denied entry visas), are denied unobstructed access to their clients and have vital files withheld by the militias, all which impede their ability to defend the accused.
- Potential witnesses face death or imprisonment should they testify on behalf of defendants.
- The media have contributed to the impossibility of any prisoner being granted a “fair trial”under any circumstance, by waging propaganda campaigns, citing unsubstantiated charges against detainees, denying them their right to presumption of innocence.
- Tripoli is currently under constant aerial bombardment. The city’s last remaining functioning airport, Mitiga airbase, has been targeted. Even during the last proceedings on November 17th, Mitiga was the scene of heavy clashes and many casualties. Presently, there are no flights into or out of Tripoli.
Regarding the status of Saif Gaddafi;
- We have received no proof of life for several weeks.
- It has been over a year since human rights organizations, the ICRC and the UNSMIL have seen or spoken with him.
- His lawyer has had no contact with his client for over two and a half years.
- His family have had no contact with him since his detention in Zintan in 2011.
Urgent calls from Saif Gaddafi’s lawyer, John Jones, Q.C., and ICC prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, for either the immediate surrender of Saif Gaddafi to the ICC, or his unconditional release, are ignored.
It is a moral imperative that the existential plight of Libya’s political prisoners be addressed by the world community of activists and advocates of conscience, through global protests and resistance to the NATO-installed regime of terror. We must demand the immediate and unconditional release of all of Libya’s surviving political prisoners.
© Copyright 2014 by Viva Libya!.