A quiet and dignified demonstration of several dozen people was mounted in front of Tripoli Court of Appeal today, to demand . . .[restrict]the release of jailed journalist Amara Hassan Al-Khatabi, who is on hunger strike in protest at his detention and lack of access to his lawyers.
Khatabi had named 84 judges in his newspaper, Ummah (Nation) whom he accused of corruption and whose sacking he demanded. The 67-year old editor was arrested last December and charged under Article 195 of the Penal Code with insulting the judiciary. If convicted he could face between three and fifteen years in prison.
Yesterday’s demonstrators not only called for Khatabi’s immediate release, but also demanded that Libya’s judges be examined and a purge made of those found guilty of corruption.
The ailing Khatabi was moved on 6 April from his prison to a heavily-guarded hospital room, where he continues to refuse to eat.
Both Justice Minister Salah Al-Marghani and Minister of Culture, Habib Mohammed Al-Amin have called on the Attorney-General to release Khatabi. They have added their voices to those of international NGOs including Amnesty International, Reporters Without Borders and Human Rights Watch. [/restrict]