Saudi Arabia: Two Libyan officials of UN-backed government at risk of torture after extradition from Saudi Arabia


On August 5, 2017, two officials of the Libyan Ministry of Interior of the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) were extradited from Saudi Arabia to the eastern Libyan city of Tobruk, where they are currently at great risk of being tortured.

Mohammed Husayn Ali Al Khadrawi and Mahmoud Ali Al Bashir Rajb were detained following their arrival in Tobruk, territory of the rivalling Tobruk-based government under General Haftar.

The men, who initially travelled to Saudi Arabia to perform the Umrah pilgrimage, were arrested on June 25, 2017 at the Jeddah Airport by Saudi security forces. They were able to make phone calls and receive family visits for the first time in late July, after having been enforcedly disappeared for about a month.

On August 16, news reached Alkarama that both men had reappeared and had already been extradited to Libya on August 5. We were highly concerned about Saudi Arabia’s decision to send the men to the eastern part of Libya, which is under the control of General Khalifa Haftar, the GNA’s primary rival.

As reported by one of Al Khadrawi and Al Bashir Rajb’s relatives, both men have already been arrested following their arrival in Tobruk and are currently being detained at the Qirnada Prison, 20km south of Bayda, in north-eastern Libya.

Saudi Arabia’s decision to extradite Al Khadrawi and Al Bashir Rajb to Tobruk constitutes a violation of their obligations under the Convention against Torture (UNCAT), which the country ratified in 1997.  Parties to the convention are obliged to abstain from extraditing individuals to places where they are likely to be subjected to torture or other forms of ill-treatment.

Hence, Alkarama has solicited the urgent intervention of the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture (SRT) on behalf of Al Khadrawi and Al Bashir Rajb to request that the authorities of the Tobruk-based government immediately release both men.

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