Legal group: Illegal detentions, judges' fear cause Libyan lawlessness

May 19, 2013 at 11:59 AM
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TRIPOLI, Libya, May 19 (UPI) -- Lawlessness in Libya is a result of lack of security for judges and lawyers and the detention of 8,000 people without charges, a legal aid group said.

"Unquestionably, the two greatest -- and interrelated -- challenges are security and the fate of roughly 8,000 'conflict-related' detainees still being held without charges or representation," the International Legal Assistance Consortium, which reviewed Libya's judiciary for 10 days in January, said.

The report concluded "the absence of security" for judges and lawyers is contributing to delays in bringing detainees to justice, Tripoli's Libya Herald reported Saturday.

"The continued confinement of [detainees] in state-run and non-state prisons, often under harsh conditions, in turn exacerbates the sense of lawlessness that contributes to the lack of security," the report found.

The report criticized the legal system's failure -- attributable largely to fear -- to deal with abuses allegedly committed by revolutionary forces.

"Imbued with 'revolutionary legitimacy,' anti-Gaddafi fighters are heroes to many Libyans, who are willing to overlook alleged excesses and even atrocities committed in the name of the Revolution," the report said.

"Victims, along with many in the international community, view the situation far differently, and decry the lack of prosecution of revolutionary wrongs. With irregular revolutionary forces still actively operating throughout Libya, the lack of security has made addressing these issues both politically and personally dangerous for justice sector personnel," the report said.

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