7 000 held in Libyan militia prisons
24 November 2011, 11:46
New York - About 7 000 people, many of them
foreigners, are being held in Libyan detention centres controlled by
"revolutionary brigade" militia, according to a new UN report.
and children are among the detainees and some have allegedly been
tortured, said the report by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon ahead of a
Security Council meeting on Monday on Libya's reconstruction after the
death of dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
Political prisoners from the
Gaddafi regime have been freed, but the estimated 7 000 new detainees
have no access to courts "in the absence of a functioning police and
judiciary", said the report.
The UN said sub-Saharan Africans accused or suspected of being Gaddafi mercenaries make up a large number of those held.
detainees have reportedly been subjected to torture or ill treatment.
Cases have been reported of individuals being targeted because of the
colour of their skin," said Ban's report.
tribal-based "revolutionary brigades" united to force Gaddafi out of
power but have retained significant control in their own regions,
according to diplomats and UN officials.
The UN report said the
National Transitional Council has started to take over from the militias
but "much remains to be done to regularise detention, prevent abuse and
bring about the release of those whose detention should not be
In a separate statement, Ban on Wednesday welcomed
the announcement of Libya's interim government but said it faces
"numerous challenges" including "the crucial issues of national
reconciliation, public security, human rights protection, and the
resumption of basic services to the Libyan people".
UN Libya envoy, Ian Martin, will brief a Security Council meeting on Monday about events since Gaddafi’s killing in October.