Libya releases 130 political prisoners, including Muslim Brotherhood members

[JURIST] Libya freed 130 political prisoners [AI press release] on Thursday, among them 85 members of the Islamist opposition group Muslim Brotherhood [Wikipedia backgounder], some of whom have been held since 1998. In 2002, the now-abolished People's Court sentenced the Brotherhood members for treason for participating in unauthorized political activity, which is a serious crime in Libya. The court sentenced two of the prisoners to death, 73 to life in prison, and 11 to 10 years, while 66 were acquitted.

The prisoners began a hunger strike [JURIST report] in January protesting their incarceration. They were previously assured of their eventual release [JURIST report] by an influential and reform-minded son of Libyan leader Colonel Muhamar Gaddafi [BBC profile] last year, but the Libyan government waited until now to grant the releases. Aljazeera has more. BBC has additional coverage.



 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.