5 September 2011
Freed Libyan prisoner of conscience hails Amnesty International
A prominent Libyan prisoner of conscience freed from detention has thanked Amnesty International for working on his behalf while in detention.
Jamal al-Hajji, a long-term critic of Colonel Mu’ammar al-Gaddafi, was freed from the notorious Abu Salim prison on 24 August following seven months of incommunicado detention for demanding reform.
“Words cannot express my gratitude for Amnesty International’s support. I want to thank all Amnesty staff and members who highlighted my plight throughout the years,” he told Amnesty International delegates who met him at his Tripoli home.
No one is safe inside Libya. Within the last few weeks, hundreds of thousands of people have made the difficult decision to leave. Many of these refugees and migrants are now stranded at the border between Libya and Tunisia.
There’s been no shortage of outrage expressed by world leaders over this deplorable situation. But as the weeks of conflict drag on, the need to resettle refugees and assist migrants in returning to their homes becomes more and more urgent.
In a menacing 70-minute address delivered by Libya’s leader Mu’ammar al-Gaddafi, the ruler instructed his followers to “fight until the last drop of my blood”. Colonel Gaddafi’s remaining supporters have joined forces with foreign mercenaries to terrorize the streets of Libya. It appears they are ready to kill as many people as it takes to stay in power.
Foreign journalists and independent observers are still barred from entering the country. Meanwhile, both the UN Security Council and the Human Rights Council are holding emergency sessions this week. So far, the Security Council’s response could be described as “half-hearted” at best.