Libyan prisoners being tortured

Jan. 26, 2012 at 7:19 PM
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TRIPOLI, Libya, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- Human-rights groups say several people have died in Libyan detention centers after being tortured.

More than 8,500 people, mostly loyalists to ousted leader Moammar Gadhafi, are being held by militia groups in about 60 centers across Libya, the BBC reported.

Medecins Sans Frontieres, a medical charity group, has suspended operations in Misurata after treating 115 patients with wounds stemming from torture, the BBC said.

"After all the promises to get detention centers under control, it is horrifying to find that there has been no progress to stop the use of torture," Donatella Rovera, from Medecins Sans Frontieres, said.

"The lack of oversight by the central authority creates an environment conducive to torture and ill treatment," U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay.

Amnesty International delegates in Libya noted detainees being held in and around Tripoli, Misurata and Gheryan showed visible wound indicating torture inflicted in recent days and weeks, a release from the humanitarian group said.

"After all the promises to get detention centers under control, it is horrifying to find that there has been no progress to stop the use of torture," Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International's senior crisis Response adviser, said from Libya.

"We are not aware of any proper investigations into cases of torture and neither the survivors nor relatives of those who have died in detention have had any recourse to justice or redress for what they have suffered," he said.

"While many detainees have described their experiences of torture to us, some have proved too scared to speak -- fearing harsher torture if they speak out -- and just showed us their wounds."

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