Scores of suspected government opponents arrested in connection with an alleged army revolt in 1993 remained held without charge or trial; some appeared to be facing imminent execution. Five prisoners of conscience held since 1973 continued to serve life sentences. At least 600 other political prisoners arrested in previous years, including prisoners of conscience, continued to be held without charge or trial. Torture and ill-treatment by the security forces were reported. New laws extended the use of the death penalty and allowed for the judicial punishments of flogging and amputation. At least 17 people were executed. The UN sanctions against Libya (see previous Amnesty International Reports) were renewed in April for a further year. The sanctions were imposed in 1992 in response to the Libyan Government's refusal to hand over two Libyan nationals to British or US authorities who wished to bring them to trial. The two men were accused of the 1988 bombing of a civilian airliner which crashed on Lockerbie in Scotland, the United Kingdom, killing 270 people. In August the two men agreed to stand trial before the International Court of Justice in The Hague. The men's lawyer said the trial should be conducted according to Scottish law with an international panel of judges instead of a jury. No further steps had been taken in the case by the end of the year. Early in the year the General People's Congress approved new laws so-called "purification laws" extending the use of the death penalty and allowing for the imposition of the judicial punishments of flogging and amputation, punishments that Amnesty International considers to be cruel, inhuman and degrading. According to the laws' provisions, which came into effect in February, murder, rape and some sexual offences are punishable by death, and theft is punishable by amputation of the limbs. It was not known whether any floggings or amputations were carried out during the year. Five prisoners of conscience, all suspected members of the prohibited Islamic Liberation Party, continued serving life sentences in Abu-Salim Prison in Tripoli (see Amnesty International Reports1991 to 1994). They included Omar Salih al-Qasbi and Muhammad al-Sadiq Tarhouni. Scores of military personnel and civilians arrested following the alleged October 1993 army rebellion in Misrata and Bani Walid (see Amnesty International Report 1994) were still being held at the end of the year, apparently without charge or trial. The authorities continued to deny there had been a rebellion and said that all those arrested were "spies". In March it was reported that 16 of those detained were facing imminent execution. Among them were Miftah Qarrum al-Wirfali, who suffers from leukaemia, and Lt Col. Daw al-Salihin, who reportedly had had a leg amputated as a result of injuries sustained under torture. Earlier in March Libyan television had broadcast a film of three men, including Miftah Qarrum al-Wirfali, "confessing" to being US spies. They were believed to have been tortured to make them confess. It was feared that many others arrested after the alleged 1993 rebellion were at risk of execution. In early 1994 members of the Urfala tribe were arrested by the security forces, reportedly in connection with the disturbances in the Bani Walid area in October 1993. They remained imprisoned without trial. At least 600 political prisoners, including possible prisoners of conscience, were still detained without charge or trial: most had been held incommunicado since their arrest in previous years. Among them were scores of government opponents, including members or supporters of banned Islamist groups, who had been arrested in the 1980s. They included Dr Abd al-Munim Ibhiri al-Awjali and Hassan al-Suwayheli Istayta, professor at the College of Agriculture in al-Bydha, who were arrested in May 1984 in connection with a clash at Bab al-Aziziya between the security forces and members of the opposition National Front for the Salvation of Libya (see previous Amnesty International Reports). Also still held were suspected members of banned Islamist groups arrested between January 1989 and May 1991, such as Muftah Ali Salem al-Gawzi, a laboratory technician, and Muhammad Khayrallah al-Zawi, a university student (see previous Amnesty International Reports). Seventeen government opponents sentenced to life imprisonment after unfair trials in previous years remained in Abu Salim Prison (see Amnesty International Reports1991 to 1994). They included Muammar Hassan Ali, who was arrested in May 1984 and summarily tried by a Revolutionary Court in Abu Salim Prison. His death sentence was commuted in June 1988. Torture and ill-treatment of detainees continued to be reported. Among the victims were some of those arrested following the alleged October 1993 rebellion (see above). Dr Musa al-Keilani, a diplomat and former member of staff at the University of Gar Yunis, was reportedly tortured following his arrest in January to force him to confess to having participated in the October rebellion. His fate and whereabouts remained unknown at the end of the year. There were grave concerns about Mansur Kikhiya who "disappeared" during a visit to Cairo in December 1993 (see Amnesty International Report 1994). A prominent member of the Libyan opposition and a human rights activist, he had been living in exile in France since 1980. He remained missing and there were fears that he had been abducted by Libyan agents and was being held in Libya. At least 17 people were executed. Three executions were shown on television on 16 November, together with an announcement that the prisoners had been convicted of murder. Throughout the year Amnesty International continued to appeal for the immediate and unconditional release of all prisoners of conscience and for the fair trial or release of the hundreds of other political prisoners. Following the introduction of the "purification laws", Amnesty International urged the authorities to abolish the judicial punishments of amputation and flogging, and to replace them with punishments that are not cruel, inhuman or degrading. It also urged the authorities not to use the death penalty. Amnesty International sought assurances from the Libyan leader, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, that Mansur Kikhiya had not been abducted and taken back to Libya. The organization received no response to its inquiries.
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