Libya: Brotherhood’s Detainees Released

Today, the Libyan authorities released all arrested members, 84, of the banned Muslim Brotherhood, detained since 1998. According to official sources, a massive celebration attended by families of released men was hold before Tripoli’s Abu Salim Prison.
Sources pointed out that a detainee was previously free in the last month due to his health condition and upon a request of the Qadhafi Foundation for Development, run by Saif el-Islam el-Qadhafi, the son of the Libyan leader.
This group of freed men is the last scores of 152 Islamists, detained since 1998 on charges of joining an outlawed group.
In 2002, the People Court, nullified in September 2004, has sentenced two to death, 73 to life imprisonment, some to ten-year term while acquitted 66 of them.
Following the invalidation of the People Court, the Libyan judiciary decided to retry the convicted activists of the Muslim Brotherhood.
In last January, the Libyan Leader Mu’ammar el-Qadhafi ordered the formation of a committee to examine lists of prisons making sure that there are no opinion-related prisoners.
In June, the Qadhafi Foundation recommended the release of detained activists affiliated to nonviolent Islamic movements. According to official sources, the foundation excluded 498 activists of eight violent Islamic organizations.
The Libyan Muslim Brotherhood’s Chairman Seleman Abdel Kader welcomed the move and congratulated the released men long with the Libyan people. Although the procedure is positive, it arouses questions over the commitment of the Libyan regime to real political reform where it followed a confirmation of verdicts made against the Brotherhood’s members.
On the other hand, the Brotherhood’s deputy leader Muhammad Habeeb welcomed the move. In exclusive statements to Ikhwan Web, Habeeb regarded the action ’very good that will positively affect the political life in Libya. Habeeb expressed his hope that the procedure would be followed by the release of all political and opinion-related prisoners, no matter their tendencies, in all Islamic and Arab countries. Habeeb sees the present stage a critical moment in the history of the nation where we face serious challenges on both local and international levels. Accordingly, a genuine reconciliation between governments and nations is required to resist these challenges.