Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Monday that the United States (US) and Libyan authorities should clarify the legal basis for the abusive arrest and subsequent extradition to the US of Abu Agila Masud Al-Mariami, a Libyan suspect in the 1988 deadly airplane bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland.
The associate Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch, Hanan Salah, said that it appears that no Libyan court has ordered or reviewed Masud’s transfer to the US, adding that he had no chance to appeal, raising serious due process concerns.
“The political impasse and chaos in Libya don’t allow US authorities to disregard violations of fundamental rights.” Salah said.
HRW said the US should uphold international fair trial standards and grant Masud access to his family members, including by promptly processing visas for them, adding that US authorities should also grant him the right to challenge his extradition.
“As Prime Minister Dbeibah promised, Libyan authorities should provide consular visits, help Masud get effective legal counsel, and coordinate his family’s visits. They should also investigate and hold accountable members of the armed group responsible for violently seizing Masud from his home.” HRW added.
HRW also stressed that US authorities should ensure that no coerced confessions, including confessions made under torture, are used as part of the prosecution, in violation of US and international law.
Meanwhile, Salah also reiterated that justice for the many victims of Pan Am flight 103 risks being tainted unless the US and Libyan governments clarify the legal basis for Masud’s transfer to US custody.