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There are a lot of weapons “floating around” Libya these days, mostly in the hands of the country’s one hundred plus militias. It’s estimated, for example, that there are 20,000 anti-aircraft missiles yet to be secured.
Libya was officially declared liberated on October 23 but my friend Ahmed won’t leave the Tunisian capital, Tunis. He doesn’t want to return to his family in Libya. One of the main reasons is guns.
Saleyha Ahsan is a doctor, a journalist and a filmmaker. She was also a captain in the British Army who served in Bosnia. For the past month, Saleya has been working as a medical volunteer with Libya’s war wounded. She started out in a hospital in neighboring Tunisia.
A few weeks ago, I arrived in Tataouine, a desert town in South Tunisia, on a hot sandy day. I was there to work with the Libyan Global Relief Committee (LGRC), a medical group comprised of Libyan nationals or members of the diaspora returning home to help.
Dr. Omar Reda (courtesy of Omar Reda)
Control orders, in their revised form, still deny the right of an accused individual to have a fair trial, to hear the evidence against them in an open court and to be punished appropriately for any crime they have committed.
Detainee Y – as he is known – is a former ricin trial defendant who was fully acquitted. He has written this open letter to explain in his own words the system that he and eight other foreign nationals are subject to – conditions largely unknown to many.
Guantánamo Bay lingers, hanging like an odious smell, but calls for professional accountability are breaking through. Medical personnel who took their place inside interrogation cells are now being questioned about their conduct. Whatever political cover existed under the torture-marred reign of the Bush/Rumsfeld/Blair triad has now gone.