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Libya To Demolish Notorious Prison



Libya on Thursday freed 88 Islamists and announced it will demolish Abu Slim prison, notorious for what human rights groups say was a 1996 massacre in which more than 1,000 prisoners were killed.

The Islamists with Al-Qaeda links walked out of the Tripoli prison, an AFP correspondent at the scene reported. The Kadhafi Foundation, headed by Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi’s son Seif al-Islam, confirmed the planned closure of Abu Slim, saying the remaining inmates would be transferred to another jail.

The building “will be destroyed in the next few days,” a Libyan source told AFP, adding that a residential district and a green space would replace the prison, which has often been used to detain political prisoners.

The government has begun “procedures to compensate families of martyrs who died in the clashes” in 1996, the Foundation said without giving details. Human Rights Watch said that the Libyan security forces killed at least 1,200 prisoners in a hail of bullets in 1996 in circumstances that remain unclear.

The Foundation, in a joint statement with lawyers’ groups, said: “45 members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and 43 members of other jihadist groups were freed” from Abu Slim on Thursday.

“Apart from the LIFG members, the other people freed were former Al-Qaeda members who were active in Afghanistan or Iraq,” Saleh Saleh Abdessalem, an aide to Seif al-Islam, told AFP.

Gathered in the prison courtyard, the detainees met journalists before greeting their families amid ululation by women and cries of “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest). Some broke down in tears in front of their children, wives and relatives.

Source: dailyguideghana

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