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QUESTIONS FOLLOWING LIBYAN PM’S RELEASE October 11, 2013

Posted by wmmbb in Africa, Human Rights, Terrorism Issues.
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The detention and release of the Libyan Prime Minister seems to have elements of farce, which does not arise solely from the social disruption created by the externally sponsored overthrow of Gaddafi.

Of course, the prime minister Ali Zidan must feel relieved to have been freed.

Deutche Wella reports:

The seizure of Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zidan from a Tripoli hotel on Thursday morning (10.10.2013) has underlined the political chaos currently wracking the country. The action was swiftly condemned as an “abduction” by the Prosecutor General’s office, but, according to news agency AFP, was carried out by a group called the Operations Cell of Libyan Revolutionaries – which is supposed to report to the defense and interior ministries.

Zidan was reportedly held at the Interior Ministry’s anti-crime department, even though the prosecutor denied that there was an arrest warrant out for the prime minister, before being released later in the morning, Libya’s official LANA news agency reported.

The move comes during a period of political turmoil in Libya, which was exacerbated by the capture of suspected al-Qaeda operative Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, alias Abu Anas al-Liby, by US special forces on Sunday (06.10.2013). Though many details are still unclear, it seems that Zidan’s abduction is a direct reaction to the US raid.

As became obvious when Zidan appeared on the BBC’s Newsnight show on Tuesday, the raid on Tripoli by US forces put him in an invidious position. Even as he insisted that “Libya does not surrender its sons,” and that Libyan citizens should be tried in Libya, the prime minister called for foreign help to fight militant groups in the country.

According to Michel Chossudovsky in Global Research:

Whatever one’s views regarding Moamar Gadaffi, the post-colonial Libyan government played a key role in eliminating poverty and developing the country’s health and educational infrastructure. According to Italian Journalist Yvonne de Vito, “Differently from other countries that went through a revolution – Libya is considered to be the Switzerland of the African continent and is very rich and schools are free for the people. Hospitals are free for the people. And the conditions for women are much better than in other Arab countries.” (Russia Today, August 25, 2011)

These developments are in sharp contrast to what most Third World countries were able to “achieve” under Western style “democracy” and “governance” in the context of a standard IMF-World Bank Structural Adjustment program (SAP).

By happy convenience the invading countries also held Libyan foreign investments. Allegations could be made and insinuations drawn, but in the absence of any independent legal adjudication the law appears to be non-existent. Thus, might is right.

Similarly, there is the case of the abduction by agents of the United States of a Libyan citizen as a suspect member of a terrorist organization by the United States and his imprisonment, perhaps including torture on a naval vessel.

Spencer Ackerman reports in The Guardian:

With every passing day that the US holds its newest terror suspect in the brig of the USS San Antonio, the Obama administration dives deeper into the extra-legal murk that characterized its predecessor.

Abu Anas al-Liby, a Libyan indicted by a federal court in New York 13 years ago, is somewhere in the Mediterranean Sea,where he has been for at least three days. Several Obama administration officials told the Guardian this week that the administration has yet to decide whether to prosecute Liby in a civilian court or through a military tribunal, even though his indictment in New York is in force.

The Geneva conventions state that prisoners of war be held on land, but there is ambiguity in legal circles as to whether this mandate applies to Liby. But the more immediate legal issue confronting the Obama administration, according to legal experts, is whether Liby is being detained on the USS San Antonio itself or whether the San Antonio is acting as a transit vessel taking Liby to his ultimate point of detention.

And that depends on how long Liby remains on the ship. “True transitory detention on a ship, for a brief period of time required by movement, might be OK,” said Robert Chesney, a law professor at the University of Texas who specializes in national security. “But of course, we’re not talking about a ship that is moving Liby somewhere.”

At least not immediately. Liby is slated to be interrogated aboard the San Antonio, probably by the elite FBI-led team known as the high-value detainee interrogation group. Whatever charges he will face will come after that.

But the longer his interrogation lasts, the more his confinement aboard the landing transport dock crosses from transit into detention. It is one thing for a detainee to be held on a ship as it steams into port to deliver him to his ultimate destination on land, in a fixed address that outside monitors can access. No one claims a detainee is unlawfully detained when, for instance, authorities put him on a plane.

Implicit in the arguments relating to the Geneva Conventions is that terrorist suspects have no rights of natural justice.

Perhaps in future when these expeditions are planned, either on the micro or macro scales, those who instigate them should have computer modelling available to situations that devolve into farce and lawlessness. It is one thing to believe it is justified to engage in these actions: it is another to act in accordance with the requirements justice. International Law, such that exists, seems as always to be honored, if at all, in its’ denial, or unconstrained extra-territory provisions of domestic law.

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