25 May 2012

Libya: AI Calls On Marzouki Not to Approve of Baghdadi Mahmoudi's Extradition

Tunis — Amnesty International (AI) Secretary-General Salil Shetty sent, Thursday, a letter to President of the Republic Moncef Marzouki calling on him not to approve of the extradition of the former Libyan Prime Minister Baghdadi Mahmoudi.

"Amnesty International takes note of the statement made on May 23 by the Presidency of the Republic's spokesman that Baghdadi Mahmoudi will not be extradited to Libya if his life is in danger and that he will not be guaranteed a fair trial," according to the letter.

"As you may be aware, Baghdadi Mahmoudi started a hunger strike three days ago to protest against his extradition, following statement by Tunisian Justice Minister Noureddine Bhiri asserting that the extradition of Mahmoudi may happen in a matter of days or weeks," indicates AI.

The international organisation warns that, "as a member of Colonel Mouammar Kadhafi's government, Mahmoudi faces a real risk of serious human rights violation if forcibly returned to Libya, including arbitrary arrest, torture and other ill-treatment, unfair trial and extrajudicial execution."

AI is also concerned that the former Libyan official may face the death penalty, which AI opposes in all cases "as the ultimate violation of the right to life," reads the letter signed by its Secretary-General.

Amnesty International's concerns are based on its ongoing monitoring of human rights abuses in Libya, including those committed since the inception of the internal conflict in late February 2011 by armed militia which opposed Colonel Kadhafi's rule, explains the organisation.

AI continues to receive information on systematic torture and other ill-treatment of detainees and has recently documented at least 20 cases of deaths in custody, deplores the message.

"On the basis of this information and on the ongoing patterns of human rights abuses in Libya, Amnesty International strongly believes that Baghdadi Mahmoudi should not be forcibly returned to Libya for the present time."

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