News / Middle East

UN Report: Torture Rampant in Libyan Jails

A man suspected of being a Gadhafi loyalist shows wounds on his feet at a detention facility in Misrata, Libya, Sept. 22, 2011.
A man suspected of being a Gadhafi loyalist shows wounds on his feet at a detention facility in Misrata, Libya, Sept. 22, 2011.
VOA News
United Nations investigators say torture is widespread in Libyan jails controlled by militias that joined forces two years ago to overthrow leader Moammar Gadhafi.

The world body's top human rights office (OHCHR), in a report Tuesday, said about 8,000 prisoners jailed since the 2011 civil war are currently in detention without charges and usually held without access to lawyers.

It said torture is most frequently used on conflict-related prisoners immediately after arrests "to extract confessions and other information."  

It also said the U.N. Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has recorded 27 deaths in custody since Gadhafi was killed in October 2011, with 11 of the deaths occurring this year.

The report said conditions are improving for detainees held in prisons controlled by Libya's Judicial Police.  But it urged the government to speed up the takeover and the staffing of militia-run jails with trained police and correctional officers.

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