By Callum Paton
Tripoli, 9 December 2013:
The Foreign Ministry has welcomed the release of three Libyans from prison in Yemen.
The prisoners, Fuad Masaud Ali Wadi, Essam Ali Rahil Salem and Riyadh Mahmoud Andel-Jalil Assabri had been held in the Yemeni capital Sana’a and were returned to Tripoli on Thursday.
The Foreign Ministry has said that it “welcomes this humane and generous action, which will have, without doubt, a strong and positive impact on all Libyans and on Libyan Yemeni relations in the future”.
Taha Shakshuki, from the NGO Libyan Prisoners Abroad, told the Libya Herald that these are the kinds of results his organisation is working for. “Our aim is not to secure the release of criminals,” he said, “we want to promote the rights of Libyan prisoners around the world. We want to make sure that Libyans who have had poor legal support or harsh sentences are treated fairly.”
Shakshuki explained that the prisoners will have been transferred using existing agreements between Arab League members and that this is essentially an act of goodwill on the behalf of Yemeni authorities.
He could not, however, speak specifically about the treatment of the Libyans in Yemen nor how many remain incarcerated there. “We have great difficulty in dealing with prisoners in Iraq and Yemen,” he said, “They are involved in complex systems and with jihadi groups including Al-Qaeda. We have met with them in the past but they are not easy to deal with.”