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Extradition to Libya – extradition to torture

The reports that the former Libyan prime minister who was extradited by Tunisia to Libya was tortured highlight the lack of justice and proper institutions in post-Gaddafi Libya, believes journalist Lizzie Phelan.

28 June 2012

Deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s former prime minister Al Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi is escorted in the office of his prison guard in Tripoli (REUTERS/Anis Mili)

The French lawyer for Al Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi said on Wednesday that her client had his ribs broken and a lung punctured after prison guards seriously beat him. "According to the information I have, it seems that he has been beaten," said lawyer Marcel Ceccaldi as quoted by The Guardian. "He is in hospital, under guard."

The Libyan authorities however denied the report as rumors. "We would like to say it’s wrong, a naked lie that he was attacked and is in a sort of coma. Al-Bagdadi al-Mahmoudi is in good health and he is in need of nothing, God willing," said a NTC spokesman.

Tunisia extradited the former Libyan prime minister back to his home country on Sunday despite concerns by human rights groups and the Tunisian president himself that al-Mahmoudi could face torture and an unfair trial there. Tunisian leader Moncef Marzouki denounced the extradition as “illegal” saying it was done without his consent.

There are no signs that a fair trial can take at the moment in Libya, Press TV correspondent Lizzie Phelan said in an interview with RT. “There is no such thing as institutions in Libya anymore; there is indeed no such thing as government.”

Anybody who does not agree with the NTC and the different militias running different parts of the country are subjected to systematic persecution, imprisonment and torture, she says, stressing that this concerns those who supported the former Gaddafi regime.

The ability by right-wing Islamists to bypass the Tunisian constitution and extradite al-Mahmoudi raises concerns that Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood could also strike a deal with the NTC and make similar moves against the many thousands of Libyans who fled to Egypt. “To do so would be to subject those Libyans almost certainly to a fate of torture,” she said.

She believes that cooperating with the NTC is in fact serving the interests of the West, which is very keen to see perpetual instability in Libya and in the wider region. “Like in Iraq NATO’s corporate elites can win contracts to supposedly pick up the pieces, which of course they will never do.”

Phelan also explains that it is in the West’s interests to continue the trials against the members of the former regime. “Amongst those members and hundreds of thousands of Libyans who have now fled the country are the people who know how to build a stable Libya with strong and well-functioning institutions necessary for society to function. But the West doesn’t want strong institutions or a well-functioning society in Libya,” she believes. “It wants eternal anarchy and chaos like that which we are seeing today.”

Russia Today , 28 June, 2012.