Libyan dissident released from jail

April 15, 2010 at 4:51 PM
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TRIPOLI, Libya, April 15 (UPI) -- Libya has released a dissident who faced 15 years in prison for claiming he was tortured in jail.

Human Rights Watch Thursday confirmed the release of Jamal al-Haggi, who was acquitted of charges that he insulted judicial officials.

His arrest came after Haggi sent a letter to the Libyan court in which he claimed he was tortured while in jail.

Libya has tried to mend ties with foreign powers but still cracks down vehemently on its domestic opposition, experts say.

"Libya has significantly changed its foreign policy but it has not altered its domestic policy on dissent," Heba Morayef, a Human Rights Watch expert, told BBC News. "There had been the position that there were no political prisoners in Libya -- Mr. Haggis' arrest was an embarrassment to those who said that."

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