Rights group: Gaddafi's son needs lawyer

2011-12-21 10:05
New York - Libyan authorities should grant Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of the former leader charged with war crimes, immediate access to a lawyer to help ensure he has due process, Human Rights Watch said on Wednesday.

Last month Luis Moreno-Ocampo, chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, said he would not demand that Saif al-Islam be handed over to the Hague-based court to face charges of crimes against humanity even though he has no guarantee that a Libyan trial would be fully fair.

Fred Abrahams of the New York-based group Human Rights Watch visited Muammar Gaddafi's son for 30 minutes on Sunday in Zintan, Libya.

"Saif al-Islam Gaddafi says he is getting good food and medical care - he had no complaints about the physical conditions of his detention," Abrahams said in a statement.

"His main concern was the lack of access to family and to a lawyer who can help his case," he said.

Fair trial

The International Criminal Court indicted Saif al-Islam along with his father and Libya's former intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi over their alleged involvement in the killing of protesters during the revolt that toppled Muammar Gaddafi in August.

The National Transitional Council, which led the revolt that began in February, has repeatedly said it will not hand over Saif al-Islam and will ensure that he faces a fair trial in Libya.

Libyan authorities arrested Saif al-Islam on November 19, a month after his father was captured and killed.

"Saif al-Islam Gaddafi deserves his due process rights, and so too do the more than 8 000 other people in detention across Libya without access to a lawyer," Abrahams said.

"They should be properly investigated and brought as soon as possible before an independent judge," he said.

Torture

Last month, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Libya's former rebels were holding 7 000 detainees, many of them sub-Saharan Africans, without access to due legal process after the country's civil war.

Ban cited reports that some detainees had been tortured, that some people had been targeted because of their skin colour that women were held under male supervision without female guards and that children were being detained alongside adults.

Saif al-Islam told Abrahams that he has received visits from the general prosecutor, Abdelaziz al-Hasadi, and various Libyan government officials. The International Committee of the Red Cross has said it visited him as well.

Hasadi told Human Rights Watch that Saif al-Islam would have access to a lawyer the moment he is in a secure facility in Tripoli that will protect him from harm and prevent him from escaping.

Under Libya's code of criminal procedure, the state must allow a detainee access to a lawyer during an investigation if he or she asks for one, the group said in its statement.

Right to a lawyer

International standards, including the United Nations Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, require giving defendants access to a lawyer within 48 hours of arrest, the group said.

The International Criminal Court judges have asked for further information related to Libya's request to try Saif al-Islam in Libya. Human Rights Watch said the Libyan authorities have until January 10 to respond.

Hasadi also told the group that he had opened an investigation into alleged corruption by Saif al-Islam before the civil war.

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
10 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

3 must-do trail runs

If you love trail running, you have to put these on your bucket list.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Climbing the world’s largest stone arch
Awesome extreme sports people
Watch: 2015 Absa Cape Epic route
Watch: Insane road bike skills!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

One day only! – 40% off Appliances!

Get 40% off 100’s of appliances at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may prefer to be in charge because then you can call the shots. You are not as flexible as you like to make out to be and you...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.