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Delivered into Enemy Hands: US-Led Abuse and Rendition of Opponents to Gaddafi's Libya

[Image from below report by Human Rights Watch.] [Image from below report by Human Rights Watch.]

[The following report is the latest from Human Rights Watch (HRW) on the relationship between the US rendition program and the now-deposed Qaddafi regime.]

When rebel forces overtook Tripoli in August 2011, prison doors were opened and office files exposed, revealing startling new information about Libya's relations with other countries. One such revelation, documented in this report, is the degree of involvement of the United States government under the Bush administration in the arrest of opponents of the former Libyan Leader, Muammar Gaddafi, living abroad, the subsequent torture and other ill-treatment of many of them in US custody, and their forced transfer to back to Libya.

The United States played the most extensive role in the abuses, but other countries, notably the United Kingdom, were also involved.

This is an important chapter in the larger story of the secret and abusive US detention program established under the government of George W. Bush after the September 11, 2001 attacks, and the rendition of individuals to countries with known records of torture.[2]

This report is based mostly on Human Rights Watch interviews with fourteen former detainees now residing freely in post-Gaddafi Libya and information contained in Libyan government files discovered abandoned immediately after Gaddafi's fall (the "Tripoli Documents"). It provides detailed evidence of torture and other ill-treatment of detainees in US custody, including a credible account of "waterboarding," and a similar account of water abuse that brings the victim close to suffocation. Both types of abuse amount to torture. The allegations cast serious doubts on prior assertions from US government officials that only three people were waterboarded in US custody. They also reflect just how little the public still knows about what went on in the US secret detention program.

The report also sheds light on the failure of the George W. Bush administration, in the pursuit of suspects behind the September 11, 2001 attacks, to distinguish between Islamists who were in fact targeting the United States and those who may simply have been engaged in armed opposition against their own repressive regimes. This failure risked aligning the United States with brutal dictators and aided their efforts to dismiss all political opponents as terrorists.

The report examines the roles of other governments in the abuse of detainees in custody and in unlawful renditions to Libya despite demonstrable evidence the detainees would be seriously mistreated upon return. Countries linked to these accounts include: Afghanistan, Chad, China and Hong Kong, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Sudan, Thailand, and the United Kingdom.

Finally, the report shows that individuals rendered to Libya were tortured or otherwise ill-treated in Libyan prisons, including in two cases where the Tripoli Documents make clear the United States sought assurances that their basic rights would be respected. All were held in incommunicado detention (many in solitary confinement) for prolonged periods without trial.  When finally tried, they found that the proceedings fell far short of international fair trial standards.

Most of the former detainees interviewed for this report said they had been members of the Libyan Islamist Fighting Group (LIFG), a group opposed to Gaddafi's rule that began to organize in Libya in the late 1980s and took more formal shape in Afghanistan in the early 1990s. At that time, Islamist opposition groups were springing up across the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia in response to governments they deemed corrupt, oppressive, and not sufficiently Islamic.

Libya was no exception. In 1977, several years after Gaddafi took power, he imposed his unique political system, the Jamahiriya, or "state of the masses," on the country. The government confiscated property, and began regulating every aspect of life, from religion to economics to education, in entirely new and often incomprehensible ways. Many Libyans, including traditional Muslims who were particularly outraged by the changes Gaddafi made to the practice of Islam and considered them blasphemous, expressed their opposition. Gaddafi put down dissent brutally, focusing in particular on Islamist opposition groups who, due to their alignment with Islamist groups abroad and the deep devotion of many members, he treated as a dangerous threat. Those suspected of even the slightest connection with the movement were rounded up, imprisoned, and sometimes executed, including in public and broadcast on television. It is in the context of this crackdown that the LIFG began to organize and set out, from bases both within and outside Libya, to overthrow Gaddafi.

Virtually all the former Libyan detainees interviewed by Human Rights Watch said that they fled the country in the late 1980s because of Gaddafi's repressive policies against organized Islamic opposition groups and against persons perceived to be associated with such groups, due to their religious practices. Some joined the LIFG while in Libya, and others once outside the country. All but one said they participated in the fighting in Afghanistan that eventually defeated the Soviet-installed government of Mohammed Najibullah in 1992 and used the training they gained there for LIFG-led anti-Gaddafi efforts.

After the September 11 attacks on the United States, being Libyan without documentation in Afghanistan, and being part of an armed Islamic opposition group, placed these Libyan expatriates at high risk of arrest. That was true even if all those interviewed for this report claimed their group was not at war with the West. And so many of them fled, along with their families, moving from country to country, including to destinations such as Malaysia and Hong Kong as well as Mali and Mauritania. It was in these countries that they were taken into custody before being sent elsewhere.

For many of the individuals profiled here, this will be the first time their stories are told because, until last year, they were locked up in Libyan prisons.

These stories provide new details about serious human rights violations in US detention sites, US and UK collaboration with the Gaddafi government, and the roles of several other countries that assisted in renditions. This information includes:

  • New accounts of abuse in secret Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) black sites: Five former LIFG members told Human Rights Watch that they were detained in US-run prisons in Afghanistan for between eight months and two years. The abuse allegedly included: being chained to walls naked, sometimes while diapered in pitch dark, windowless cells, for weeks or months at a time; being restrained in painful stress positions for long periods of time, being forced into cramped spaces; being beaten and slammed into walls; being kept inside for nearly five months without the ability to bathe; being denied food and being denied sleep by continuous, deafeningly loud Western music, before being rendered back to Libya. The United States never charged them with crimes. Their captors allegedly held them incommunicado, cut off from the outside world, and typically in solitary confinement throughout their Afghan detention. The accounts of these five men provide extensive new evidence that corroborates the few other personal accounts that exist about the same US-run facilities. One of those five, before being transferred to Afghanistan, as well as another former LIFG member interviewed for this report, were also held in a detention facility in Morocco.
  • New evidence of "waterboarding" torture and a similar practice during interrogations: One former detainee, Mohammed Shoroeiya, provided detailed and credible testimony that he was waterboarded on repeated occasions during US interrogations in Afghanistan. While never using the phrase "waterboarding," he said that after his captors put a hood over his head and strapped him onto a wooden board, then they start with the water pouring. They start to pour water to the point where you feel like you are suffocating. He added that, "they would not stop until they got some kind of answer from me." He said a doctor was present during the waterboarding and that this happened numerous times, so many times he could not count. A second detainee in Afghanistan described being subjected to a water suffocation practice similar to waterboarding, and said that he was threatened with use of the board. A doctor was present during his suffocation-inducing abuse as well. The allegations of waterboarding contradict statements about the practice from senior US officials, such as former CIA Director Michael Hayden, who testified to the Senate that the CIA waterboarded only three individuals (Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Abu Zubaydah, and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri).[3] Former President Bush similarly declared in his memoirs that only three detainees in CIA custody were waterboarded.[4] Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has also denied the use of waterboarding by the US military.[5]
  • Unlawful rendition: All interviewees said their captors forcibly returned them to Libya at a time when Libya's record on torture made clear they would face a serious risk of abuse upon return. All had expressed deep fears to their captors about going back to Libya and five of them said that they specifically asked for asylum. One of them, Muhammed Abu Farsan, sought asylum in the Netherlands while in transit between China and Morocco. He said his asylum application was ultimately denied and he was sent to Sudan, where he held a passport. But Sudanese authorities kept him in detention and, shortly after his arrival, individuals representing themselves as CIA officers interrogated him on three different days. Within two weeks he was sent back to Libya. Though the Netherlands is the only government that actually had provided any of the Libyans we interviewed with an opportunity to challenge their transfer, the Tripoli Documents contain information suggesting Dutch officials might have been aware that Abu Farsan would ultimately be sent to Libya from Sudan. To the extent they knew that there was a genuine risk he would be returned to Libya, they violated his rights against unlawful return.
  • More information about Western collusion with the Gaddafi government: The Human Rights Watch interviews and the Tripoli Documents present new details showing a close degree of cooperation among the United States, the United Kingdom, and other Western governments with regard to the forcible return and subsequent interrogation of Gaddafi opponents in Libya. Ten of the fourteen Libyans interviewed for this report were rendered back to Libya within a year of the date when Libya, the United States and the United Kingdom had formally mended their relations, seven within the five months. The mending of relations was very publically marked by a visit from British Prime Minister at the time, Tony Blair, to Libya on March 25, 2004. The collusion is ironic, given that years later these same governments would end up assisting Gaddafi's opponents in their efforts to overthrow the Libyan leader. Several of those opponents are now in leadership positions and are important political actors in Libya.
  • Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi: Al-Libi's case is significant, among other reasons, because the United States relied on statements obtained through his interrogation while in CIA custody to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq: Al-Libi died in a Libyan prison in 2009 (a suicide, according to Libyan authorities at the time) so it is difficult to obtain information about him today. But by talking to family members and others detained with him in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Libya, Human Rights Watch has pieced together some new details about al-Libi's time in CIA custody and circumstances surrounding his death. Human Rights Watch also observed photos of al-Libi that Libyan prison officials appear to have taken on the morning of his death which allegedly depict him in the manner he was found in his cell. The photos show bruising on parts of his body.

The United States, Libya, and most of the other countries discussed in this report are party to important international human rights treaties, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Persons apprehended in armed conflict situations would also have been protected by the Geneva Conventions of 1949. These treaties prohibit not only torture, but all cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. Importantly, they also prohibit sending an individual to a country where that person would face a genuine risk of torture or ill-treatment.

In discussing rendition policies, former Bush administration officials have tried to justify the forced returns that took place during the administration by saying they always got "promises" from the receiving countries or "diplomatic assurances" the transferees would be treated humanely. As evidenced by US State Department country reports on human rights in the mid-2000s, however, the US government was well aware of the torture and ill-treatment taking place in Libyan prisons.[6] The Gaddafi government's many executions of its opponents after summary trials would have made it obvious to anyone involved in the rendition of LIFG members to Libya that they would be at grave risk. The US government's perfunctory resort to diplomatic assurances, and unenforceable agreements between governments to not harm a person being transferred, shown in the Tripoli Documents to have been used in two transfers, reflect a callous disregard for the lives and wellbeing of people who the United States never should have returned to Libya.

Several individuals interviewed for this report said they endured physical abuse and mistreatment in Libya, some of which amounted to torture. This included being beaten with wooden sticks[7] and steel pipes;[8] whipped,[9] including with ropes[10] and electric cables;[11] slapped, kicked and punched;[12] and administered electric shocks.[13]

At the same time, other interviewees said they were not subjected to physical abuse in Libyan custody. Some speculated this may have been due to prison reforms initiated by Muammar Gaddafi's son, Saif Gaddafi, or agreements they had heard were made between the United States and Libya (perhaps diplomatic assurances) that transferees would not be mistreated.[14] But neither Saif Gaddafi's reforms nor US diplomatic assurances, if obtained, appear to have protected those detainees who were subjected to torture and ill-treatment. Nor did they protect detainees from being placed in solitary confinement which can amount to torture, ensure their access to family members and legal counsel, or make sure they were promptly charged and fairly tried. Typically, detainees had no lawyers and were denied family visits, sometimes for as long as two years.[15] All of those interviewed said they were held for years before finally being charged with any offense. Once charged, they were appointed a lawyer to whom they either never spoke or who did not assist in their defense.[16] They faced summary trials, and all detainees interviewed for this report were convicted, receiving sentences of lengthy prison terms up to life imprisonment, or the death penalty. At least three said they were subsequently interrogated in Libyan prisons by US, UK, or other foreign agents.[17]

Summary of the Cases


Detentions in Afghanistan and Morocco
: Of the men interviewed for this report, the five who experienced the worst abuses and spent the longest period in secret US detention are Khalid al-Sharif (Sharif); Mohammed Ahmed Mohammed al-Shoroeiya (Shoroeiya); Majid Mokhtar Sasy al-Maghrebi (Maghrebi); Saleh Hadiyah Abu Abdullah Di'iki (Di'iki); and Mustafa Jawda al-Mehdi (Mehdi). All but Mehdi appear to have been held in the same locations for their first period of detention which they all said was in a US-run detention facility in Afghanistan. The four were then moved to a second location, apparently also in Afghanistan, to which Mehdi was later brought. In total, Sharif was in both locations for two years, Shoroeiya for about sixteen months, Maghrebi for about eight months, and Di'iki also for about eight months. Mehdi was only in the second location and he appears to have been detained there for about fourteen months. Prior to his detention in Afghanistan, Di'iki said he was also held in a facility in Morocco for about a month where he said he was interrogated by US personnel, though it is not clear if they were running the facility. In addition to these five, Human Rights Watch also interviewed Mustafa Salim Ali el-Madaghi (Madaghi), who was described in the Tripoli Documents as Di'iki's deputy.[18] He was arrested in Mauritania, sent to Morocco, held there for about five weeks, and then rendered to Libya. All six were senior members of the LIFG. Khalid al-Sharif, deputy to Head of the LIFG, Abdul Hakim Belhadj (see below), being the most senior member.

Transfers to Libya That Began in Asia: For three interviewees, their returns to Gaddafi's Libya began in Asia. Two of these three cases (those of Abdul Hakim Belhadj and Sami Mostafa al-Saadi) are already well documented. Information about US and UK involvement in their renditions was revealed when the Tripoli Documents were discovered last year and a number of the documents made public.[19] Belhadj is the former head of the LIFG and a long-time opponent of Gaddafi. He and his wife were taken into custody in Malaysia with the help of the United Kingdom's Secret Intelligence Service (commonly known as MI6) and detained for several days by the CIA in Thailand. The United States then sent him to Libya around 9 March, 2004. Libyan intelligence Chief Musa Kusa had Belhadj brought directly to him. "I've been waiting for you," he reportedly told Belhadj.[20] Belhadj's transfer occurred just weeks before UK Prime Minister Tony Blair flew to Tripoli on 25 March for a very public rapprochement with Gaddafi.[21] The same day, Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell announced it had signed a deal worth up to 550 million euros (approximately one billion dollars) for gas exploration rights off the Libyan coast.[22] Â 

Saadi had been a senior LIFG leader and was the group's religious leader and religious law expert. The Tripoli Documents contain communications from the CIA offering to help the Libyan government secure Saadi's return to Libya and confirming MI6 involvement as well. Saadi was rendered to Libya from Hong Kong just days after Blair's visit to Libya. Five other former LIFG members interviewed for this report were also rendered to Libya that year, and two more the following April. Communications contained in the Tripoli Documents, relating to Belhadj and Saadi, are a key part of a lawsuit against the UK government.[23] They have also formed the basis of an investigation by the UK police into the government's role in their rendition.[24]

In addition to these eight, Human Rights Watch interviewed another senior LIFG member, Muhammed Abu Farsan, who had been with Belhadj and Saadi in Asia before they were detained. As described above, Abu Farsan sought but failed to obtain asylum in the Netherlands, which sent him to Sudan. In Sudan he was interviewed by individuals representing themselves as being from the CIA on three different occasions. Within two weeks, Sudan returned him to Libya.

Transfer from Guantanamo Bay: We also interviewed Abdusalam Abdulhadi Omar as-Safrani, who as of this report's writing was one of two former Guantanamo detainees sent back to Libya by the United States. He said he was not a member of the LIFG. He was detained with Ibn-al-Sheikh al-Libi (see below) by US and Pakistani forces before being sent to Guantanamo.

Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi (Sheikh al-Libi)Sheikh al-Libi, also reportedly not a member of the LIFG, was held in US custody for years, allegedly tortured, and then rendered to Libya. We could not interview him for this report because he died in Libyan custody, allegedly by suicide. His rendition and torture is of particular importance because it produced intelligence that the CIA itself has recognized was unreliable but that nevertheless played a significant role in justifying the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Detainees Rendered from African Countries to Libya: We interviewed four other Libyans picked up in different places in Africa and then transferred to Libya: one from Sudan, Ismail Omar Gebril al-Lwatty (Lwatty); one from Chad, Mafud al-Sadiq Embaya Abdullah (Embaya); and two from Mali, Abdullah Mohammed Omar al-Tawaty (Tawaty) and Othman Salah (Salah). These interviews contained less evidence than the others of foreign or Western government involvement in the actual transfer, though there are indications that Western governments were involved in the initial apprehensions and subsequent interrogations. The African countries themselves, however, were equally obliged not to render these individuals to Libya, without process and against their will.

Most of the Libyans profiled in this report were imprisoned until February 16, 2011, when the uprisings against Gaddafi began. LIFG leader Abdul Hakim Belhadj, his deputy, Khalid Sharif, and LIFG religious leader Sami al-Saadi were released a year earlier, on 23 March, 2010, as part of a negotiated release of hundreds of prisoners. Belhadj, Saadi and Sharif had to publically renounce their aim of overthrowing the government by force as part of the deal.

Many of those interviewed were also involved in the uprisings against Gaddafi. Sharif, Saadi, and Di'iki were all re-arrested during this time for anti-Gaddafi activities and held until August 2011, when Tripoli fell to rebel forces. Belhadj commanded a brigade that played a key role in the uprisings and the taking of Tripoli. Shoroeiya, Sharif, and others interviewed for this report said that many former LIFG members who managed to escape arrest after the uprisings began, but are not profiled here, participated politically in the uprisings and militarily in organizing and training rebel forces. Belhadj and Saadi both ran as candidates for their respective political parties during the 7 July, 2012 elections.[25] US diplomats have engaged with Belhadj and his party since they emerged as important players in Libya's new democratic landscape, and several US Senators, including John McCain, have met with him. Sharif is now head of the Libyan National Guard. One of his responsibilities is providing security for facilities holding high value detainees (mostly officials of the former Gaddafi government) now in government custody. Di'iki also works at the Libyan National Guard and has similar responsibilities.. Mehdi and Shoroieya are prominent members of the same political parties to which Belhadj and Saadi belong, respectively.

[Click here to download the full HRW report.]

____________________

NOTES

 

[1] €œWatch Libyan rendition victim Abdel Hakim Belhadj talk to the European Parliament,€ Reprieve.org, April 12, 2012, at 0:16 and 2:30, http://www.reprieve.org.uk/tvandradio/Belhadj_European_Parliament (accessed June 15, 2012).

[2] Rendition is the transfer of an individual between governments. Transferring someone to another country without providing them an adequate opportunity to contest that transfer violates basic rights under international human rights law. Transferring someone to another government where they would face a serious risk of torture or other ill-treatment is unlawful. Transferring an individual to the custody of another government for the purpose of torture, usually to obtain information, is a practice commonly referred to as rendition to torture, which did not appear to be the intent of US renditions to Libya in the cases described in this report. US returns to Libya may have been motivated by the likelihood that finding another country to accept them might have been difficult or by an effort to improve relations with Gaddafi.

[3] Testimony of Michael Hayden in front of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, February 5, 2008, http://www.intelligence.senate.gov/pdfs/110824.pdf, p. 71-72 (accessed July 2, 2012) ("€œLet me make it very clear and to state so officially in front of this Committee that waterboarding has been used on only three detainees."). The CIA waterboarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed 183 times, Abu Zubaydah at least eighty-three times, and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri twice. CIA Office of the Inspector General, "€œSpecial Review: Counterterrorism Detention and Interrogation Activities" (September 2001 -€“ October 2003),€ May 7, 2004, declassified in August 2009, http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/politics/20090825-DETAIN/2004CIAIG.pdf (accessed July 2, 2012), (€œCIA OIG report€), p. 90-91.

[4] George W. Bush, Decision Points (New York, Crown Publishers, 2012), p. 171 ("Of the thousands of terrorists we captured in the years after 9/11, about a hundred were placed into the CIA program. About a third of those were questioned using enhanced techniques. Three were waterboarded.")

[5] Donald Rumsfeld, Known and Unknown: A Memoir (New York: Sentinel, 2012), p. 585 ("To my knowledge, no U.S. military personnel involved in interrogations waterboarded any detainees - €”not at Guantanamo Bay, or anywhere else in the world."€)

[6]US State Department, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, "€œCountry Reports on Human Rights Practices"€“ 2004: Libya,€ http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2004/41727.htm (accessed August 15, 2012); and "€œCountry Reports on Human Rights Practices"€“ 2006: Libya, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2006/78858.htm, (accessed August 15, 2012). The United Kingdom was also concerned about human rights abuses in Libya during this period. The 2004 human rights report by the UK Foreign Office states, "€œ[T]he UK remains seriously concerned by the human rights situation in Libya, including restrictions on freedom of expression and assembly, political prisoners, arbitrary detention and conditions in Libyan prisons."€ UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Human Rights: Annual Report 2004,€ http://fcohrdreport.readandcomment.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/human-rights-report-2004.pdf (accessed August 27, 2012), p. 67.

[7] Human Rights Watch interviews withMohammed al-Shoroeiya (Shoroeiya), Tripoli, Libya, March 18, 2012; and Sami Mostefa al-Saadi (Saadi), Tripoli, Libya, March 14, 2012.

[8] Human Rights Watch interview with Shoroeiya, March 18, 2012.

[9] Human Rights Watch interview with Adusalam Abdulhadi Omar as-Safrani (Safrani), Benghazi, Libya, March 20, 2012.

[10] Human Rights Watch interview with Saadi, March 14, 2012.

[11]Human Rights Watch interview with Shoroeiya, March 18, 2012; Human Rights Watch interview with Saadi, March 14, 2012.

[12] Human Rights Watch interviews with Safrani, March 20, 2012; and Saadi, March 14, 2012.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Human Rights Watch interviews with Khalid al-Sharif (Sharif), Tripoli, Libya, March 14, 2012; Shoroeiya, March 18, 2012; Muhammed Abu Farsan (Abu Farsan ), Tripoli, Libya, March 26, 2012; Sheikh Othman Salah, Tripoli, Libya, March 15, 2012; and Saadi, March 14, 2012.

[15] Human Rights Watch interviews with Shoroeiya, March 18, 2012; Majid al-Maghrebi (Maghrebi), Tripoli, Libya, March 16, 2012; Sharif, March 14, 2012; Osmail Omar Gebril al-Lwatty (Lwatty), Tripoli, Libya, March 17, 2012; Abu Farsan, March 26, 2012; and Saleh Hadiyah Abu Abdullah Di’iki (Di’iki), Tripoli, Libya, March 18, 2012.

[16] Human Rights Watch interviews with Shoroeiya, March 18, 2012 ("€œI did not have an opportunity to talk to the lawyer. Lawyer was a man. Spoke to him only once. Just time to introduce himself."€); and Mustafa Jawda al-Mehdi (Mehdi), Tripoli, Libya, March 14, 2012 ("€œYes. I was appointed a public defender. I did no€™t see her or even speak to her."€)

[17] Abdul Hakim Belhadj (Belhadj) said he was interrogated by Americans four times, as well as by the British, French, Spanish, Germans, and Italians. Kim Sengupta, "€œLibyan rebel leader says MI6 knew he was tortured," The Independent, September 6, 2011, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/libyan-rebel-leader-says-mi6-knew-he-was-tortured-2349778.html (accessed August 27, 2012). See also Chulov, "MI6 knew I was tortured, says Libyan rebel leader,"€ The Guardian, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/sep/05/abdul-hakim-belhaj-libya-mi6-torture?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487 (accessed August 29, 2012). Saadi said he was interrogated by American, British, and Italian intelligence agencies, as well as by some agents who were speaking French, though he was not sure if they were French. Sharif said he was interrogated by French intelligence agents. Human Rights Watch interviews with Saadi, March 14, 2012; and Sharif, March 14, 2012.

[18] Tripoli Document 2142 refers to Madaghi by one of his aliases, Mustafa Salim Ali Moderi Tarabulsi, aka Shaykh Musa.

[19]Ian Cobain, "€œLibyan dissident tortured by Gaddafi to sue Britain over rendition,"€ The Guardian, October 6, 2011, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/06/libyan-dissident-tortured-sues-britain (accessed April 22, 2012).

[20] Watch Libyan rendition victim Abdel Hakim Belhadj talk to the European Parliament,€ Reprieve.org, April 12, 2012, at 1:38.

[21] "€œBlair hails new Libyan relations," BBC News, March 25, 2004, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/3566545.stm

[22] Ibid.

[23] Cobain, "€œLibyan dissident tortured by Gaddafi to sue Britain over rendition," The Guardian ("€œ[T]he case currently relies upon a number of documents that Human Rights Watch, the New York-based NGO, found last month."€); See also "€œInvestigation into rendition welcomed," Leigh Day & Co. Solicitors news release, January 12, 2012, http://www.leighday.co.uk/News/2012/January-2012/Investigation-into-Rendition-Welcomed (Leigh Day & Co. is the law firm representing both Belhadj and Saadi and their families; the press release states "€œ[a]fter Gaddaffi was overthrown documents were discovered by Human Rights Watch which allegedly show how British personnel were instrumental in his detention and rendition."€ Claims filed by Leigh Day & Co. rely upon a number of these documents.); and Richard Norton-Taylor, "Libyan rebel leader sues Britain over rendition ordeal,"€ The Guardian, December 19, 2012, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/19/libyan-rebel-abdel-hakim-belhadj?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487 (accessed April 22, 2012).

[24] "Joint statement by the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Metropolitan Police Service,"€ Crown Prosecution Service news release, January 1, 2012, http://www.cps.gov.uk/news/press_statements/joint_statement_by_the_director_of_public_prosecutions_and_the_metropolitan
_police_service/
(accessed April 22, 2012).

[25] Belhadj ran as a candidate under the Islamist political party Hizb al-Watan and Saadi as a candidate under the party al-Umma al-Wasat. Neither did as well as expected. Omar Ashour, "Libya's Defeated Islamists,"€ July 17, 2012, http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/libya-s-defeated-islamists (accessed on July 18, 2012).

 

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