Monday, May 25, 2009

Human Rights: Libya blamed for death of Libyan dissident and democracy activist

The American Jewish Committee has charged the Libyan government with responsibility for the death of prominent Libyan dissident and democracy activist Fathi al-Jahmi. Imprisoned in Tripoli for the last seven years, al-Jahmi died on May 20 in a Jordanian hospital to which he had been transferred a fortnight earlier while in a coma.

"With the passing of Fathi al-Jahmi, the world has lost a vital and courageous voice for human rights," said AJC Executive Director David Harris. "Responsibility for his death lies squarely with the Libyan government, which imprisoned him and denied him access to medical treatment for his illnesses."

Al-Jahmi was arrested and imprisoned in 2002 after he publicly called for Libya's democratization, including free elections, freedom of expression and of the media, and release of political prisoners. While in custody, he was denied access to medical care for serious illnesses, including diabetes and coronary heart disease.

AJC raised al-Jahmi's case at the highest governmental levels on several occasions during his imprisonment in Libya, urging both his release and the provision of urgently needed medical care.

Source: American Jewish Committee
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