Khaled Il Khwildy v. Libya

Key Judgment

Legal Relevance

Keywords: Effective Remedy | Burden of Proof | Deprivation of Liberty | Evidence | Judicial Protection | Juridical Personality | Refusal to Disclose Fate | Relatives as Victims

Themes: Characteristics of the Crime | Related Crimes

The Committee made a finding of inhuman treatment in relation to the enforced disappearance of the victim, due to the fact that he was held in secret and incommunicado detention, tortured and prevented from any contact with family, legal counsel, or the outside world. It also made such a finding in relation to the brother, noting the anguish and distress caused by the victim's disappearance. The Committee also found a violation of the victim's right to liberty and security, as he was arrested without a warrant, held in incommunicado detention without access to defence, without being informed of the grounds for his arrest, and without being brought before a judicial authority. The Committee further found that the victim's enforced disappearance and incommunicado detention, as well as the refusal to provide his family with relevant information on his arrest and detention, amounted to a failure to recognise him as a person before the law. Finally, the Committee reaffirmed that in cases of enforced disappearance the unacknowledged deprivation of liberty places persons outside the protection of the law and puts their lives in substantial and ongoing danger, finding that the State failed in its duty to protect the victim's life, as he was held by the authorities for prolonged periods of time, at a location unknown to his family and without the possibility of communicating with the outside world.

Judgment Date

November 1, 2012


Libya (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya)

Judicial Body

Human Rights Committee

Articles violated

Article 2(3) [ICCPR], Article 6(1) [ICCPR], Article 7 [ICCPR], Article 9 [ICCPR], Article 10(1) [ICCPR], Article 14(1) [ICCPR], Article 14(3)b) [ICCPR], Article 14(3)(c) [ICCPR], Article 16 [ICCPR]

Articles not violated / not dealt with

Article 17(1) [ICCPR], Article 17(2) [ICCPR]

Facts of the Case

In 1998, a few days after the public execution of one of his family members, Mr. Abdussalam Il Khwildy was arrested along with all other men in the family by officers of the Internal Security Agency who forcibly entered the home. The arrested were taken to a prison, subjected to ill-treatment and detained for over a month, until Mr. Il Khwildy confessed to helping one of his brothers flee the country. The decision to keep Mr. Il Khwildy in detention was made by members of the security forces, with no judicial control. He was allegedly told by a police official: “I know you have done nothing, but you are going to stay here for five years”. In January 1999, Mr. Il Khwildy was transferred to another prison and detained there until May 2003, when he was released without having been brought before a judicial authority. Throughout his detention, he was not allowed to be visited or to communicate with his family or lawyer, and his whereabouts were kept secret from his family. Mr. Il Khwildy was again arrested in October 2004. He was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment in August 2006. In October 2006, he called his father to inform that he had been transferred to another prison and that he would probably be released without delay. After that call, his family heard no more about his fate or his whereabouts. The authorities did not respond to his family’s requests for information, and kept claiming than that he had been released. In May 2008, Mr. Il Khwildy was permitted to call his family and informed them that he was in prison. He was also able to receive visits from his parents twice, in 2008 and 2009. He remained in detention until he was released in August 2011.

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