Herland Report: “The security situation in Libya is catastrophic. It is a massive international scandal. The NATO supported military coup in 2011 opened up the flood gate for horror”, states human rights activist for the prisoners in Libya, the Algerian Linda Ulstein in an exclusive interview with The Herland Report.
To sum up: The Western backed Tripoli government is controlled by several militias after the Al Qaida linked, Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, Abdulhakim Belhaj and Khaled Sherif and others lost some influence after their supporter Qatar had become an outcast by the Saudis and their allies.
Seven years later, no less than 3 million Libyans are displaced or dislodged, tens of thousands Libyans are imprisoned in non-official militia run prisons, where capital punishment and torture of all sorts daily happen to men, women and children.
Control is now held by the so-called Tripoli Revolutionary Brigade lead by Haitham Tajouri.
This Brigade is made up mainly of militias led by notorious warlords such as Hashim Bishr, Ghnewa al-Kikli, Osama al Jwilli and Haitham Tajouri himself, in addition to other semi militias.
The word on the ground is that these militias today hold privately prisons where thousands of political prisoners are kept without trials.
Records are now being collected and cases investigated, in order to gain evidence that may be presented to press charges against several of these warlords. The details from massacres have not been hard to find, and the people of Libya are taking photographs as proof everywhere, tired of being governed by fear and terror.
The population live in constant fear of abductions, kidnappings, rape, killings – beheadings, crucifixions and widespread use of horrifying torture. Pictures of severed heads, tortured bodies and crying parents because their loved ones are abducted and kept without trial in prisons for years, flood the Libyan pages.
The “prisons” are filled with political prisoners, this all happens under the watch of the European governments and the authority of Western and UN backed Tripoli. Amnesty International and others are silently watching, doing almost nothing.
Interview with human rights activist, Mrs. Linda Ulstein
The Herland Report: – Thank you for taking the time to speak to us about the pressing issues in Libya. As the bridge to the European media and human rights activist, we highly evaluate your assessment of the current situation.
It is well known that Muammar Gaddafi was a long term enemy of the Al Qaida groups. He believed that in order to be a revolutionary, you have to fight for your own land, and the Al Qaida groups were fighting all over the place, more like mercenaries paid to do a job in this or that country.
Gaddafi also believed that they did not constitute the real Islam, we all know Gaddafi was liberal in his view on women and women were in the Libyan army and his bodyguards and so on?
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Mrs. Linda Ulstein: – Gaddafi banned political parties including the Muslim Brotherhood. His son, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi supported this.
The extremist Islamist groups were against the concept of the people’s army, which demanded all Libyans to get military training in military barracks, universities and secondary schools. They were particularly against women being trained militarily.
They rejected Gaddafi’s liberal attitude towards women, allowing them to get higher education, to take on the job their qualifications allowed them and not keeping them within their houses or within their so-called Muslim attire.
The Herland Report: – The Al Qaida linked groups in Libya, such as the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and people like Abdelhakim Belhadj, hooked up with the Americans in 2011 and supported the coup against Gaddafi. We later have seen how people like Belhadj has become one of Africas richest men, rising with him a number of the current Libyan warlords. Do you agree to the allegation that the Americans and NATO actually collaborated with the Al Qaida groups in order to oust Gaddafi in 2011?
Human rights activist Mrs Linda Ulstein: – Gaddafi also established the African Satellites, depriving France of the telecommunication dues the Africans pay for European satellites every year.
He was about to introduce the African Gold Dinar to deprive France of keeping its Francophone states in Africa at bay. The Gold dinar would have united Africa under one currency, giving power to the African nations to free them from the dominion under Western economic rule. It wold also have challenged the US dollar as a currency, since African oil, gas and trade primarily were made in US dollars.
Abdulhakim Belhadj with well-known warlord commanders
Gaddafi was about to establish the South Atlantic Treaty Organization (SATO) as an economic and a military organization comparable to the NATO. This organization was to become a reality had the Africa South Africa Summit been given the opportunity to convene in Libya in September 2011.
This is why the US and its allies were ready to collaborate with Al Qaida and Islamic terror groups like Abdelhakim Belhaj, whom everyone knew had been arrested in Afghanistan with Osama bin Laden and al Dawahiri. Abdelhakem Belhaj was deported to a prison in Guantanamo. Already here we can see the contradiction of the western politics, as the US was more than willing to use a Guantanamo terrorist and put him to power in Libya in order oust Gaddafi.
When Gaddafi recieved Abdelhakim Belhaj in Libya from Guantanamo, the regime put him in jail.
Then the US kept pushing Gaddafi to release the Al Qaida prisoners, to show goodwill to America. At that time, Gaddafi knew that the destruction of Iraq and the killing of Saddam Hussein was a direct result of Iraq not doing what the US wanted.
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Both Gaddafi and his son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi knew very well the same fate could easily happen to Libya if they did not release the Al Qaida prisoners and comply with the US demands.
There is even a picture from this time, of Said al-Islam Gaddafi with Belhaj, showing goodwill and releasing the prisoners, in order to try to appease the western pressure, in order to avoid the fate of Iraq. In retrospect, of course, the destruction of Libya happened anyway.
Mustafa Abdul Jalil, from 2007 Minister in the Gaddafi government and later leader of the western backed interim government in 2011, pushed very hard to release the Al Qaida prisoners, who were in jail because they tried to assassinate Muammar Gaddafi.
This is how far Muammar Gaddafi went, he released these prisoners out of goodwill, but they became traitors and a strong force in the uprising against Gaddafi and the Green government, supported by the US, Qatar and the West.
Later Mustafa Abdul Jalil confirmed to Arabic media, in 2014, that he knew that Gaddafi did not attack his own people. He stated that this lie was said in order to oust Gaddafi. (Photo right: Mahmoud Jibril)
The Herland Report: – Libya is currently plagued with massive massacres, abductions, rape of both men and women, and the people live in constant fear. Please go into detail and explain to us the situation.
Mrs Linda Ulstein: – The security situation now is catastrophic. The country is namely governed by more than three governments. One is in the East, two in Tripoli, and an autonomous Misrata, and an autonomous Bani Waleed. The Parliament in Tubrok, in the east is divided and rarely meets.
Haftar the Commander of the army in the East is unleashing his militias on his opponents to force people to appoint him as de facto President of the country. In the west militias run havoc despite the presence of the so-called reconciliation government, which barely rules over the center of Tripoli.
Tripoli is being controlled by war lords housed in the Tripoli area and around its outskirts.
Misrata, which is about 200 kilometers East of Tripoli, aided at the beginning by Turkey and Qatar and nowadays by Italy, threaten Tripoli with its strong militias lead by Salah Badi.
It threatens Tripoli in favor of the ex-National Congress, now in the disguise of the Supreme Congress of the State, chaired by Abdurrahman Sweihli from Misrata a civilian political-oriented terrorist.
– Tripoli itself is controlled by several militias after the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) Abdulhakim Belhaj and Mahmoud Sherif and others were expelled from the area after their supporter Qatar had become an outcast by the Saudis and their allies.
Now control is “enforced” by the so-called Tripoli Revolutionary Brigade lead by Haitham Tajouri.
This Brigade is made up mainly of militias lead by Hashim Bishr, Ghnewa al-Kikli and and Haitham Tajouri himself, in addition to other semi militias.
The Herland Report: – Who would you say are the leading warlords in Libya today?
Mrs Linda Ulstein: – The warlords of today’s Libya are the Americans and Emirates whom are the main supporters of the US citizen, Khalifa Haftar, who was living 20 years in the USA and collaborated with the CIA and FBI. He gave information about the Gaddafi regime to the Americans, and lived well in the US until 2011, when he returned to Libya with the Americans.
And when he was arrested in the Chad war, he was deported to the USA and since that time he was cooperating with the Americans. Khalifa Haftar wanted the power of Gaddafi and therefore he willfully gave wrong information to the USA. There is proof to what I’m saying.
Because the day president Barack Obama left his Oval Office, he was asked by the press about the worst decision of his career.
His answer was true: The war in Libya against Gaddafi was what he regretted the most, because of the wrong information they had. Haftar and Abdelhakim Belhaj and Mostafa Abdel Jalil, Jibril and many others sought the power of Gaddafi.
Misratah is supported by Qatar, many of the militia groups are supported by the French and the Italians. The Tripoli government is supported by the French, British and Italian. The radical Islamists are supported by Turkey, USA, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the Emirates. We even know that Israel is involved.
The Herland Report: – Why does the West silently watch the current Libyan horror and atrocities? Is it a problem that most of the Arabic media is Saudi controlled, is that why we hear so little about this and so little news reach us?
Mrs Linda Ulstein: – Seven years now, no less than 3 million Libyans are displaced or dislodged, tens of thousands Libyans are imprisoned in non-official militia run prisons, where capital punishment and torture of all sorts daily happen to men, women and children. Thousands are kidnapped for money or political reasons. The law of brute power dominate rather than citizen protecting law.
Where is the United Nations Security Council now? Why is the western media completely neglecting to mention the terrible situation of regular Libyans?
The Herland Report: – Please tell us about the situation of the many prisons in Libya, often run by the same warlords that abduct people and keep them for years without trial. Why is Amnesty and Red Cross so completely inefficient in Libya, are they there just for a show?
Mrs Linda Ulstein:
– Yes, unfortunately the situation of the prisoners in Libya is very horrible.
Torture, atrocities, killings and rape.
Even injecting prisoners with drugs such as heroin so they will establish an addiction.
There are videos as proof and pictures that can say more than a thousand words.
The inhumane and horrific torture, such as prisoners being boiled in hot oil and water until their death.
And some people crucified with nails in their body parts as if they were objects and not humans.
They even burn the bodies and punish like in the 1800 century by cutting body parts. Men and women are being raped and sexually harassed.
The photographic documentation of this is horrifying material.
This is now being officially documented – logged case by case – and will be used to press charges against various warlords responsible for the private prisons and several of the recent massacres.
Luckily the Libyan population is very clever in taking pictures with their mobile phones, also of the tortured and the dead. This greatly helps our work.
Women are forced into drugs so they can work as private escorts and held by force and taken to parties and households. All this, against their free will. They are given alcohol and ecstasy.
If a women happens to be pregnant, they will forcefully abort the child inside the prison in a unprofessional way and not by a certificated doctor.
Many of these women die because of the pain or blood loss. This has been reported by many families and human right workers. The families dear not say a word in public, because then the militias come and take their other children too. The private prisons have become a profitable trade for the warlords, as they extort ransom and payments from the families of the prisoners, in order to let them go.
Many prisoners have been forced by the militias to sign contracts to give away all of their belongings such as houses and land. This is how the warlord criminals profit from the suffering of the Libyan population.
Sorry to say these horrible things, but they even carve with knives their names on the forehead of the prisoners. Many people get mentally disturbed and die under this torture.
There are even those whom have been set free by the courts, but the militants do not obey the court ruling and still torture and kill them. We have good documentation on this.
Such as the scandal of the prison el Rwimi, now called Ain Zara A. And the last scandal when 49 persons were tortured and killed, allegedly by Osama el Jwili.
No one cares about them. He still has some prisoners but their families are not allowed to visit them. Short while ago, 50 people got killed in Benghazi, allegedly by Khalifa Haftar and his son Saddam. His son has a very bad name in Libya and people fear him very much.
Every single day prisoners die. No Red Cross or Amnesty help on the ground. When it comes to Amnesty, I contacted them and went to them but they wouldn’t even care to listen. I even invited them to a meeting about this crises. They do nothing.
The Herland Report: – What do you see as the solution, and the way to peace in Libya?
Human rights activist, Mrs Linda Ulstein:
Mrs. Linda Ulstein, spokesperson for the Libyan prisoners and human rights activist who works with various media outlets in the West.
– The solution is to have a democratic vote and that none of these warlords get to terrorize the population during the election. The people themselves have to choose who they want to have as their leader. Libyan must chose who shall rule Libya. We believe in national sovereignty.
This year Saif el-Islam Gaddafi is a candidate and has a very popular standing in the population. He works for unity among all Libyans and Libyan tribes, voicing the need for reconciliation and peace.
He has a very good education, a good track record in helping the Libyan people and has not done any atrocities, like the massive horror we now see. He was running large housing projects for the Libyan people, been involved in charity all over Africa and worked for a free press. He also pushed for the forming of a Constitution and worked for democratic institutions during his late father Muammar Gadaffi’s rule.
He is qualified and against division in the country. He wants to bring peace to the people and create stability in Libya under one government.