End Widespread Torture and Abuse in Libyan Prisons

Target: The Libyan Transitional Government

Goal: The Libyan Transitional Government must take control of all prisons within its borders to prevent further brutality and torture against detainees by rogue revolutionary brigades.

Since its inception, the Libyan Transitional Government has struggled to exert authority over the patchwork of regional militias governing its streets and prisons. Members of these revolutionary brigades that fought to overthrow Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, defer to their own commanders rather than government security forces. As a result, brutality and torture against detainees has become a common-day atrocity in many of the detention facilities. In order to prevent the continuance of such barbaric actions, the transitional government must gain control over all prisons within its borders.

International humanitarian groups have reported widespread incidences of torture, extrajudicial executions, and rape of both men and women by officially recognized military and security forces as well as numerous armed militias.  Researchers of Amnesty International have met prison detainees in and around the major cities of Tripoli, Misurata and Gheryan who carried severe injuries consistent with torture. Many of these individuals had open wounds on their heads, limbs and back and claimed to have been beaten, suspended in stress positions and given electric shocks. Doctors Without Borders has even decided to suspend its emergency medical care in Misurata because many prisoners have been treated more than once for torture-related injuries. As Christopher Stokes, the group’s General Director, explains, “Patients were brought to us in the middle of interrogation for medical care, in order to make them fit for further interrogation. This is unacceptable. Our role is to provide medical care to war casualties and sick detainees, not to repeatedly treat the same patients between torture sessions.”

Unfortunately, ending the widespread torture will be a difficult task for a government that has no control over renegade military forces. In many cases, commanders form their own fiefdoms and ignore declarations by the government. The key is to take direct control of the detention facilities. United Nations High Commissioner for Human rights, Navi Pillay, has even urged the Libyan Transitional Government to place all prisons under judicial control as a way to enforce government authority over each detention center.

The barbaric treatment of detainees within Libyan prisons must be stopped. By signing the petition below you will help urge the Libyan Transitional Government to prevent continued torture by seizing authoritative control over all its prisons.


Dear Mustafa Abdul Jalil, Chairman of the Libya Transitional Government,

The atrocities running rampant within your country’s detention centers must be stopped. It is inexcusable that detainees face such brutalities as torture, extrajudicial executions, and rape.

You must seize authoritative control over each prison within Libya’s borders in order to extradite the influence of fiefdoms being created by individual commanders. By placing every detention facility under the supervision of judicial authorities, you can end the brutal torture of prisoners by renegade militia members.

I am urging you to protect the human rights of your prisoners. Please take action and take control of the prisons within Libya to stop the inhuman treatment of detainees.


[Your Name Here]

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