Thursday, September 09, 2004

Libyan Dissident Still Imprisoned

The Wall Street Journal's Claudia Rosett points our attention to the fate of Fathi Eljahmi, a Libyan dissident languishing in Mad Dog Khadafi's dungeons. Libya, which last year headed the UN's Human Rights Committee, recently jailed Mr. Aljahmi again, after he got set free during the negotiations with the US on whether the country would give up nuclear weapons, or be turned into the parking lot for the Mall of the Africas:

Jailed two years ago in Libya's notorious Abu Salim prison for advocating political pluralism and free speech in Libya, Mr. Eljahmi was released this past March, in the first happy round of U.S.-Libyan rapprochement, after Gadhafi agreed last December to give up his nuclear weapons program. Mr. Eljahmi seized the chance to speak up again for liberty, saying that Libya needed the equivalent of the political roundtable debate that in Poland, in the 1980s, helped bring democratic reform.

Less than three weeks after Mr. Eljahmi's release, and just after the freshly rehabilitated Gadhafi had hosted visits to Tripoli by Tony Blair and Assistant Secretary of State William Burns, Libyan security squads detained Mr. Eljahmi once again, along with his wife and eldest son. Although "detained" is a perhaps too polite a word for a process in which Gadhafi's thugs assaulted Mr. Eljahmi at the door of his home, then dragged him away and have since held him incommunicado.
Ms. Rosett goes on to criticize the UN, Europe and the State Department in their disinterest in the matter. Read it all.