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HRW: thousands detained in Libya without legal charges

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The Human Rights Watch (HRW) said that thousands are detained inside Libya with no legal charges for more than one year.

It added, in its report entitled (The Endless Wait) “long-Term Arbitrary detentions and torture in western Libya”, that the widespread and systematic nature of these long-term arbitrary detentions may constitute a crime against humanity.

The report documents, long detention, torture and abuses against detainees in four prisons inside Tripoli, Misrata, run by Judicial Police and controlled by the Justice Ministry of the Tripoli-based self-proclaimed government.

The report includes interviews HRW made with 120 detainees since 2011 without presenting them to a judge or charging them with a crime. Judicial authorities have neither provided a legal basis for these long-term arbitrary detentions nor taken action to end the practice.

Hanan Saleh, Libyan researcher in HRW said that “the authorities in control of western Libya haven’t put an end to the incarceration of thousands of detainees who are being denied their basic rights for four years and counting, Libyan authorities operating detention facilities under the veneer of the law need to end this ongoing injustice or risk international investigation and possible prosecution”.

The HRW stressed that public prosecution in Tripoli should order the immediate release of all detainees who have been detained for over a year without charge or whose detention is not approved by a court, and put an end to the widespread torture and other ill-treatment in prisons under their control.

It appealed the United Nations Security Council to step up pressure for compliance with its resolutions on Libya, and the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor to open an additional investigation into ongoing abuses under her jurisdiction.