Libyan Accuses GNA’s Interior Minister: “Bashagha Ripped Out My Eye with a Spoon at Mitiga Prison in 2019” – Al Marsad

A former inmate at Mitiga prison, managed by the Special Deterrent Force (RADA), accused the Minister of Interior of the Government of National Accord (GNA), Fathi Bashagha, of ripping out his eye with a spoon while he was being held under inhumane conditions at the prison in 2019.

(Libya, 1 Juny 2020) – On 31 May 2020, the former detainee, Rajab Rahil Abdul-Fadhil Al-Megrahi, filed a lawsuit before the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (“the Court”) in Arusha, Tanzania, to consider the subject of his complaint against the Government of National Accord (GNA).

Al-Megrahi appeared in a video reading the statement of claim lodged to the Court, which was established on 25 January 2014 under Article (1) of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights

The subject of the petition referred to “deliberate actions adopted by the Libyan state authorities against the Libyan citizen Rajab Abdul-Fadhil Al-Megrahi resulting in physical disabilities.”

Al-Megrahi said in the video on social media, “In the summer of 2019, I, Rajab Abdul-Fadhil Al-Megrahi, was detained at Mitiga Detention Facility in Souq Al-Juma in Tripoli. I was subjected to systemic physical violence and torture throughout my incarceration, which caused me physical injuries and ripped out my eye.”

He added, “Mr. Fathi Bashagha, the GNA’s Minister of Interior came to the prison. I find it difficult to determine the exact date due to the inhumane conditions under which I could not track the dates. During his visit, I was brought [to a hall] along with other prisoners of the warden Abdul Rauf Kara.”

“In the hall, in addition to the guards, there was the warden and head of RADA, Abdul Rauf Kara, and the GNA’s Minister of Interior, Fathi Bashagha. My hands were handcuffed behind my back.”

“Without asking me any questions, Fathi Bashagha approached and forced me to get down on my knees. He held my head. I saw him holding a spoon and bringing it close to my face. The next moment I felt a sharp pain and passed out.”

“When I regained consciousness, I found that my eye was ripped out, and the prisoners who were with me at the time confirmed that Fathi Bashagha pulled my eye off with the spoon he was holding and that I did not receive any medical assistance.”

“I was tortured in the presence and with the participation of the representatives of the Libyan authorities, specifically the warden and head of the Special Deterrence Force (RADA) Abdul Rauf Kara, the GNA’s Minister of Interior Fathi Bashagha, and their bodyguards.”

“I did not go to the relevant local authorities to protect my rights out of fear of reprisals by the GNA’s officials,” said Al-Megrahi.

He concluded, “Based on the foregoing and guided by the international agreements and general principles of law recognized by civilized nations, I request the Court to accept my claim and investigate it, consider the actions of the authorities as unlawful, confirm the torture committed against me at Mitiga detention facility as a crime against humanity, and hold the perpetrators of this crime accountable and hand them over to the court.”

© Al Marsad English (2020)