WASHINGTON -- International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that Libyan intelligence officials have detained and tortured four Christians for converting from Islam. The Christians have been imprisoned for the past seven weeks in Tripoli, Libya's capital.
Libya's External Security Organization is believed to be behind the detention and torture of the Christians, according to our sources. The security agents have barred the families from visiting the detained converts and are putting severe physical and psychological pressure on the Christians in order to force them to reveal the names of other converts. Fearing for their lives, converts from Islam are on the run.
The detention and the torture of the Christian converts come at a critical time in Libya's relations with the international community. The country has been improving its relations with the international community following the lifting of sanctions imposed on it due to its involvement in the bombing of an American airliner in which 270 people were killed.
By torturing the four Christian converts and stifling religious freedom, Libya is once again violating basic principles of the international human rights law.
ICC's Regional Manager for Africa, Jonathan Racho, said, "We call upon Libyan officials to stop torturing the four Christians and release them from detention. Libya must respect the rights of its citizens to worship freely and not to be tortured. We particularly ask the Libyan leader and the current head of the African Union, Mr. Muammar Gaddafi, to set the prisoners free and demonstrate his country's commitment to respect human rights."
International Christian Concern