Libyan gov’t to take over prisons: minister
Supporters of Libya’s ex-leader Gadhafi sit on mattresses at an army-run prison. AFP photoLibya’s deputy justice minister said his government has begun taking control of makeshift prisons in the country after human rights organizations complained of rampant torture of inmates.
Minister Khalifa Ashour said Jan. 29 that judicial police are now in charge of some prisons. There was no information of how many of the prisons were under government control. Doctors Without Borders suspended its work in prisons in the city of Misrata on Jan. 26 because it said torture was so rampant that some detainees were brought for care only to make them fit for further mistreatment. According to the U.N., various former rebel groups are holding as many as 8,000 prisoners in 60 detention centers around the country.
Meanwhile, Libyan Prime Minister Abdurrahim al-Keib called Jan. 29 for a regional security conference to tackle a proliferation of weapons by exiled supporters of Gadhafi.
“(There is) still a real threat from some of the armed remnants of the former regime who escaped outside the country and still roam freely. This is a threat for us, for neighboring countries and our shared relations,” al-Keib told African Union leaders in Addis Ababa.