Libya's Inconvenient Truth

[Washington Post] Mohamed Eljahmi - On Thursday, Libyan Foreign Minister Shalqam is to meet with Secretary of State Rice, seven months after President Bush declared himself a "dissident president" and promised active support for dissidents around the world. My brother, Fathi Eljahmi, is Libya's most prominent democracy activist. He was arrested in October 2002 after suggesting that legal guarantees of free speech and a constitution should accompany Gaddafi's rhetorical embrace of reform. After 17 months, Fathi won a respite, thanks to the intercession of Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.), and on March 12, 2004, President Bush cited Fathi's release as a barometer of change in Libya. Two weeks later, Gaddafi rearrested Fathi. My brother has been in solitary confinement ever since. With Washington offering wholesale concessions to Tripoli, Gaddafi has little incentive to improve human rights. Absent pressure, Gaddafi understands that he has a free pass to rule Libya as a private fiefdom.

2008-01-03 01:00:00

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