03 June 2012
Dr Abuzeid Dorda, former Prime Minister (1990-1994) and Libyan government permanent representative to the United Nations (1997-2003) is due to being taken to court on Tuesday 6 June by the National Transitional Council. Criminal charges against Mr Dorda have not been made, his family were not told of this development and he has not been allowed a lawyer to represent himself. The trial will be televised live.
As is well known, there is no functioning criminal justice system in Libya and this trial has no real legitimacy if measured against basic practices and norms of judicial processes and therefore this trial is unfair and unjust.
Mr Dorda is highly respected amongst the Libyan people, and this respect crosses the political divide in the country. Mr Dorda helped the people of east and west Libya throughout his time in political office, and has good relations with the leaders of many of the major tribes of Libya. Any unfair trial of Mr Dorda would lead to protests inside and outside by Libyan, as Mr Dorda is widely seen as a uncorrupted figure who has no blood on his hands and who has not been involved in financial corruption.
Mr Dorda’s family are asking that there be a fair trial and that he be allowed a lawyer immediately, and that there are observers from Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International observe an monitor the whole process of the trial of Mr Dorda to ensure Mr Dorda’s safety and human rights. This is especially the case as My Dorda has since his arrest by Libyan rebels been tortured and thrown out of the second floor window in the early days of his capture.
The Libyan people will hold the NTC, HRW and Amnesty responsible for anything that threatens the safety of Mr Dorda.
The family of Mr Dorda would like to thank all those who seek justice for Mr Dorda and many others in Libya and request that those who believe in justice and human rights in Libya contact HRW and Amnesty to express their concerns about:
1. The unfair nature of this trial
2. That they send monitors and observers to the trial and his detention, so that international public opinion are informed of the nature of the trial and that Mr Dorda’s personal safety is ensured.
Human Rights Watch, Middle East and North Africa Division:
Amnesty International, individuals at risk contact:
* This article has been written on the basis of an interview of Mr Dorda’s immediate family
Sukant Chandan is a London-based analyst and commentator, and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org