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Libyan ex-PM on hunger strike

22 May 2012, 08:38

Tunis - Libya's former prime minister Baghdadi al-Mahmudi has begun a hunger strike to resist his possible extradition from Tunisia for fear of being executed in his home country, his lawyer said on Monday.

The action, which began on Saturday, comes after Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali said he did not want Tunisia to be a "refuge for those who threaten the security of Libya".

Mahmoudi's lawyer said his client's hunger strike was also in protest at Jebali's comments.

Mahmoudi, who has been detained in Tunisia since his arrest in September 2011, is the subject of two extradition requests from the authorities in Tripoli, and Tunisian authorities have said they would comply.

But former interim President Fouad Mebazaa did not sign an extradition decree, and his successor Moncef Marzouki has said he would not authorise extradition until he was assured of a fair trial in Libya.

Al-Mahmoudi's lawyers and human rights groups say he would be executed if he returns to Libya, where a February 2011 uprising put an end to more than four decades of Muammar Gaddafi's dictatorship.



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