In May 2008, a joint individual communication was lodged by TRIAL and the organization Al-Karama for Human Rights before the United Nations Human Rights Committee on behalf of Mussa Ali Mussa Benali, acting for his brother, Abdeladim Ali Mussa Benali.
Abdeladim Ali Mussa Benali was first arrested on 9th August 1995 by members of the Libyan Internal Security Agency (ISA) and held in detention until 15th October 2002. During the first five years in prison he was deprived of any contact with the outside word and his family was never informed of his situation and whereabouts.
On 16th February 2005, Mr. Benali was arrested a second time by ISA members. His relatives received no news about him until the beginning of 2006, when they were informed that he was kept in Abu Slim prison (a well-known facility near Tripoli where thousands of political prisoners have been kept). They were allowed to visit him once a month up until the autumn of that year, when all visits were suspended as a collective punishment for a riot which had taken place in the prison at the beginning of October 2006. During those disturbances, which were bloodily suppressed, Mr. Benali played a key role in avoiding an escalation of the violence, by using a cell phone that he had hidden from the guards to acquaint external sources of the incident.
Mr. Benali disappeared from the Abu Slim prison on 23rd March 2007, and there is every reason to fear that he has been abducted by the authorities in reprisal for the above act.
Both during his first and his second detention Mr Benali was subjected on many occasions to various kinds of grave torture, including brutal beatings, prolonged isolation (up to two years) in a sparse, unhealthy underground cell, and deprived of sufficient food.
Mr Benali has never been charged with any offence. In fact, throughout the almost ten years spent in custody he has never been brought before any judicial authority.
All judicial and other legal remedies provided for by Libyan legislation are de facto unavailable to victims of crimes perpetrated for political reasons, due to the high risk, or even certainty, of severe reprisals against those who would bring accusations against the State and also the great difficulty (due to the widespread terror prevailing in Libya) that such persons would have in obtaining the assistance of a lawyer. In addition, such legal action would have no chance of success, in view of the lack of independence of the national tribunals.
The author of the communication requests the Committee to recognize that, based on the facts described above, Libya has violated: