Rights group claims Libya jailed critic

Dec. 4, 2006 at 8:30 AM
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NEW YORK, Dec. 4 (UPI) -- Human Rights Watch in New York claimed Monday the Libyan government has jailed expatriate political dissident Idrees Mohamed Boufayed.

Boufayed, a doctor, has been living in Switzerland for the past 16 years, and has been a vocal critic of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. His government has issued statements saying returning government critics are safe to return but the rights group said Boufayed hasn't been heard from since Nov. 5.

He flew to Tripoli Sept. 30. He told family he was interrogated for an hour and a half and then released. On opposition Web sites, Boufayed said he was ordered to appear Nov. 5 in Tripoli and nothing has been heard from him since, the rights group said.

"Libya may be opening to the world, but the government is still locking up its critics," said Sarah Leah Whitson, the group's Middle East and North Africa director. "The United States and the European Union shouldn't remain silent just because they're cooperating on counter-terrorism and oil investments."

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