El-Megreisi v. Libyan Arab Jamahiriya

Communication No. 440/1990
Download Judgment: English

El-Megreisi (E) alleged that his family home was searched at dawn by the security police and that his brother, having been asked to leave with them to assist in an unspecified security matter, never returned. He also alleged that after over three years had elapsed, his brother’s wife was allowed to visit him in a military camp (the location of which was unknown) and that he told her that no charges existed against him but that he could not comment on the conditions or his treatment out of fear of punishment. E complained of unspecified breaches of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (“ICCPR”).

[Adapted from INTERIGHTS summary, with permission]

The Committee held that, although the Optional Protocol entered into force for the state party after the detention of E's brother had begun, it could consider the communication as the events had continued afterwards.

The Committee further held that, on the basis of the undisputed facts, no charges were or had been brought against E's brother who was, therefore, being arbitrarily detained in violation of Article 9. Moreover, detaining E's brother incommunicado and in a secret location both before and subsequent to his wife's visit constituted torture and cruel and inhuman treatment and a violation of Articles 7 and 10(1).

[Adapted from INTERIGHTS summary, with permission]

"The Committee therefore bases its assessment on the undisputed facts that Mr. Mohammed El-Megreisi was arrested in January 1989, that no charges were or have been brought against him, and that he has not been released to date. In the opinion of the Committee, therefore, he has been subjected to arbitrary arrest and detention, and continues to be arbitrarily detained, contrary to article 9 of the Covenant." Para. 5.3.

INTERIGHTS Comment: Despite having accepted the OP, there was a complete lack of response from the state party to the Committee's request for information regarding E's allegations. Its conclusions could, therefore, only be based on the facts that he submitted but all too well-established case law is followed in finding that they constitute violations of the ICCPR.