Libya: torture, MSF suspends activities in Misrata

Yesterday UN exposed thousands of illegal prisons

26 January, 13:21

Suspected mercenaries held prisoners Suspected mercenaries held prisoners

(ANSAmed) - ROME - Doctors Without Borders (MSF-Médecins Sans Frontières) announced the suspension of its activities in Misrata, Libya, "since detainees are being tortured and denied urgent medical care". Yesterday the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights exposed that thousands of prisoners are kept in illegal prisons all over the country.

According to an MSF statement, "since August 2011, MSF doctors were increasingly confronted with patients who suffered injuries caused by torture during interrogation sessions. The interrogations were held outside the detention centres". In total, MSF treated "115 people who had torture-related wounds and reported all the cases to the relevant authorities in Misrata ". Since January, "several of the patients returned to interrogation centres have even been tortured again". "Some officials have sought to exploit and obstruct MSF's medical work," said MSF General Director Christopher Stokes. "Patients were brought to us in the middle of interrogation for medical care, in order to make them fit for further interrogation. This is unacceptable. Our role is to provide medical care to war casualties and sick detainees, not to repeatedly treat the same patients between torture sessions." Yesterday, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay exposed before the Security Council "lack of control by central authorities, which generates an environment favouring torture and abuse'' and stressed it was urgent that all Libya's detention centres be brought under control of the NTC government. The exact number of prisoners is unknown: Libya's ambassador Abdurrahman Mohamed Shalgham stated that there are 8,000 people in prison only in Tripoli. Among them, there are civilians, women and children. (ANSAmed).

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