Libyan Human Rights Committee Calls on Justice Minister to Close Secret Prisons

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The National Commission for Human Rights in Libya (NCHRL) demanded the Minister of Justice, Halima Ibrahim clarify her press statements regarding “outlaw prisons”, specifically the number and locations of the prisons that have been closed, and the number of prisoners that remained.

In a statement, the NCHRL said that it followed Ibrahim’s interview with the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, where she touched on the conditions of illegal prisons that are not under the authority of the state, “with great interest.”

The minister discussed the issue of prisoners and detainees outside the framework of the law, claiming, “it is of great and special importance and represents a priority for the ministry.”

The committee demanded the minister discuss the legal and judicial measures taken against those who were running and controlling these outlaw prisons. The NCHRL said that those who were running and controlling these centers were “the perpetrators of extrajudicial detentions, illegal arrests, and enforced disappearances, in violation of Libyan laws.” It demanded that these forces be held accountable and prosecuted for their crimes.

It also renewed its demands for “serious, urgent and comprehensive work” to address the issue of these illegally held prisoners, and called for all illegal detention centers to be immediately closed. As well as improving the treatment and conditions of the detainees in all reform and rehabilitation institutions under the Ministry of Justice.

The NCHRL stressed the need to reform these institutions in accordance with international human rights standards, “in a practical and realistic manner.”