By Maha Ellawati.
Benghazi, 22 December:
The Minister of Justice Salah Mergani denied that a detainee arrested in Benghazi had been tortured in . . .[restrict]the custody of the security services, and promised a full investigation into recent events in Benghazi, including the allegations of abuse, would begin on Sunday.
Speaking last night at a press conference at the Corinthia hotel in Tripoli, Mergani said that Fezzani “was in good health”, but that that “full investigations will take place on Sunday into what happened in Benghazi, about the death of some of the city’s dear sons, and that the issue of torture must be a part of these impartial judicial investigations”.
He warned that any individual who is proved to have been “involved in any illegal activities will appear before the courts of justice, ” and finished his speech by saying that he hoped “Libya will become a state of the rule of law.”
Mergani’s statement yesterday came after videos of Fezzani were posted on YouTube in which he shows what appear to be signs of abuse on his arms and legs.
However, it has not been possible to verify the claims made in the video, and because of the poor quality of the video posted, it is impossible to tell when the wounds he shows were inflicted.
It is understood that Fezzani was arrested over a week ago, possibly in connection with recent violence in the eastern city. Some reports have suggested that demonstrators who gathered outside the General Security Directorate in the Al-Hawari district may have come to call for Fezzani’s release after seeing the videos on YouTube. At the time of writing, no charges had been brought against Fezzani.
The demonstration descended into a gun battle between security forces and members of an armed group outside the building, leaving several people dead. In recent days, senior figures from the General National Congress (GNC) and the government have condemned the violence.