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Testimony at the UN

 UN Human Rights Council, 15th Session

Agenda Item 3: Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil,
political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development

Delivered by Ashraf El Hagoug


Mr. President,

The member states of this Council have pledged to protect the highest standards of human rights.

Many of these can be found in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights:

·   Article Six prohibits an arbitrary death sentence.

·   Article Seven prohibits torture and inhuman or degrading treatment.

·   Article Nine guarantees the right to security and liberty of the person.

·   Article Fourteen guarantees the right to a fair trial.

·   Articles Two and Twenty-Six prohibit discrimination.

Regrettably, however, victims worldwide are being denied these rights.

For example, regarding Myanmar, the General Assembly expressed concern about the conditions in prisons, and about reports of ill-treatment of political prisoners.

Another example is Venezuela. In December, UN independent experts complained about a blow to the independence of judges and lawyers in the country.

Finally, there is the example of Libya, which violated all of these articles, and all of my human rights.

In 1999, I was arrested under false charges, together with the five Bulgarian nurses. An arbitrary death sentence was imposed on me, following an unfair trial. I was tortured to extract confessions. We were detained under inhuman conditions for an extensive period of time. We suffered all types of physical, sexual and psychological torture.

Our trials were seriously flawed. The confessions obtained by torture were used and admitted in court against us. Evidence by experts on HIV was disregarded by the Libyan courts.

Mr. President, Who will return those years to us?  What can possibly compensate for our suffering, our years of youth lost in the Libyan jail?

Mr. President, in the name of universal human rights, how can Libya be elected a member of the Human Rights Council?

Thank you, Mr. President.



Thank you. In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful, the two statements we heard today, which mentioned my country, contained allegations and lies which are very far from the truth. This is way my delegation would like to say that the question that was touched to by at least two statements is a legal issue. Moreover, the judicial system has taken note and taken a final decision on this issue already. Thank you Mr. President.

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