Saturday, January 28, 2012

Canada protests to Libya over reports of torture

 The Canadian government is criticizing Libya after reports of torture by both Amnesty International and Doctors without Borders. The latter group is withdrawing doctors from Misrata because patients were brought in to be treated only to face further interrogation. The Libyan embassy in Ottawa made no comment on the accusations.
   The Libyan government the NTC has not been able to centralize power so far. Many of the cases of torture and abuse may be happening in areas still controlled by militias rather than by the central government. Canada was an active part of the coalition that helped the rebels defeat the Gadaffi regime.
    No doubt the Canadian complaints will not interfere with developing commercial relations any more than Gadaffi's abuse of prisoners in an earlier period. Not long before the rebellion started  Canada still had good commercial relationships with the Libyan government including a large project to build a new prison being carried out by a Quebec firm. For more see this CBC article.
   Navi Pillay the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights also commented on the Libyan situation saying:."There's torture, extrajudicial executions, rape of both men and women,""Something has to be done immediately to assist the authorities for the state to take control of these detention centres." Pillay said that there were up to 8,000 prisoners in 60 detention centers held by militia groups.

No comments: