El Alwani v. Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
Deprivation of Liberty | Evidence | Refusal to Disclose Fate | Relatives as Victims | Effective Remedy | Duty to Investigate | Duty to Prosecute | Burden of Proof
The Committee found that the victim was subjected to arbitrary arrest and detention, reaffirming its view that in cases where further clarification of the allegations depends on information exclusively in the hands of the State, it is possible to consider such allegations substantiated in the absence of satisfactory evidence to the contrary presented by the State. The Committee made a finding of inhuman treatment with respect to the victim both in relation to the disappearance, which prevented him from making any contact with his family or the outside world, and in relation to his treatment and the allegations that he was tortured. It also made a finding of inhuman treatment with respect to the victim's brother, due to the anguish and distress caused by the victim's disappearance and subsequent death.
July 11, 2007
Article 2(3) [ICCPR], Article 6 [ICCPR], Article 7 [ICCPR], Article 9 [ICCPR]
Articles not violated / not dealt with
Article 16 [ICCPR]
Facts of the Case
Mr. Farag Mohammed El Alwani was arrested in July 1995 by plain-clothed members of a branch of the internal security forces, who did not present an arrest warrant nor state the reasons for his arrest. Mr. El Alwani's brother was also arrested and detained for three days because of his protests against his brother’s arrest. Mr. El Alwani was taken to the prison where political opponents were routinely detained. His relatives did not receive any information on his whereabouts, the charges against him, or any legal proceedings initiated against him. In June 1996, Mr. El Alwani’s family heard rumours of an uprising at the prison where, according to a former detainee, Mr. El Alwani was detained on charges of membership in an Islamic group. In July 2002, the police informed Mr. El Alwani’s family that he had died, without providing explanations. In 2003, the family received a death certificate confirming that Mr. El Alwani had died in prison, without indicating the cause of his death. The body of the deceased was never returned to his family, nor was the location of his burial site disclosed to them.