Libya’s new government, sworn in on November 14, 2012, should put the illegal detention of more than 8,000 people atop its agenda.
About 4,000 detainees are in government custody, most without formal charges or access to a lawyer, and the rest are held outside government control by various armed groups who have no legal authority to detain anyone.
“The new government can start on the right foot by addressing the detainee crisis,” said Eric Goldstein, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “It has an opportunity and an obligation to review thousands of cases with a newfound respect for justice and the rule of law.”
The new government is headed by Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, a former human rights activist, who has spoken publicly about the need for reconciliation and the rule of law. The new justice minister, Salah Marghani, is a longtime human rights lawyer. (...)"