Medical aid agency suspends services in Misrata

The non-profit medical organization Medecins Sans Frontieres has suspended its services in detention centers in the Libyan town of Misrata over reports that medical personnel were asked to bandage up detainees allegedly subjected to repeated torture.

Misrata witnessed one of the biggest clashes during the uprising against Muammar Qaddafi last year.

According to the aid agency, they came to the town to cater to casualties of war and sick detainees, but the staff soon found them treating people inflicted during torture interrogations.

While the agency said they alerted local authorities of their concerns, they received no response, consequentially leaving the agency no choice but to halt their services.

Reports of the maltreatment of Qaddafi loyalists goes against the country’s interim government’s pledge to respect all human rights, unlike what was witnessed in the former Libyan strongman’s 42 years of rule.

Such accusations also leave Western powers in an awkward position seeing as they supported the uprising that led to the ouster of Qaddafi and his regime.

Although the National Transitional Council said it would address such issues, they are limited by the fact that the torture is predominantly administered by local militants who are excluded from the governmental framework.

United Nations human rights head, Navi Pillay, said on Wednesday that despite the NTC’s efforts, detainees are still subjected to torture.

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