UN human rights head hammers Libyans over Swiss detentions

By Daily Maverick Legacy 9 December 2009

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, says Libya must free two Swiss businessmen held since July 2008, and later sentenced to 16 months each for immigration offences. If that’s what you get for immigration offences, we wonder what you get for serious crimes. Pillay says the detention seems to be linked only to a diplomatic row between Libya and Switzerland. The men were denied permission to leave Libya days after the arrest in Geneva of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s son, Hannibal, on charges (later dropped) of mistreating two domestic workers. Pillay reckons the detentions are a violation of human rights, because the men were held in custody long before Libya announced judicial proceedings. Libya now says the Swiss face new charges of violating economic regulations. The Libyans deny any connection between the arrest of Gaddafi’s son and the two businessmen. Seems Brother Leader’s officials still can’t relinquish their old ways, despite the country’s ongoing, and somewhat distasteful, rehabilitation by the West from its days as chief sponsor of global terrorism. Read more: Reuters, The Time

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