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[Washington Babylon]

Death in Libya: Political prisoner latest victim of Bush’s “Freedom Agenda”


Former President George W. Bush’s “Freedom Agenda,” a set of policies that exists only in the minds of Washington Post editorial page writers and senior fellows at the American Enterprise Institute, has claimed its latest victim:

The Associated Press reported today:

A Libyan dissident and human rights activist repeatedly imprisoned in Libya for defying the country’s leader Moammar Gadhafi died after being released earlier this month to Jordan, a top Jordanian security official said. Fathi al-Jahmi, whose ordeal in Libyan prisons had been decried by the United States, never regained consciousness after having slipped into a coma following a stroke on May 4 in a Libyan jail, the official said…

Since 2000, al-Jahmi had been imprisoned several times, mostly for urging free and fair elections and calling for the abolishment of Gadhafi’s “Green Book,” which outlines the Libyan ruler’s anti-democratic and economic policies. Upon one of his releases, in 2004, al-Jahmi gave an interview to U.S.-funded al-Hurra television, repeating his call for Libya’s democratization. In another interview to the same station days later, he called Gadhafi a dictator and said the Libyan leader “wants people to worship him.”

He was arrested weeks later, along with his wife and their eldest son. The three were detained at an undisclosed location without access to relatives or lawyers. The wife and son were released about six months later but al-Jahmi remained in detention.

Incidentally, Jahmi’s 2004 arrest came soon after Bush praised Libya for freeing him and declaring that Jahmi was one of those “courageous reformers” that the United States government was so devoted to. But Libya was providing cooperation in the “war on terrorism” (and it also sits atop vast reserves of oil that American companies want access to), so Jahmi’s detention was swept under the rug in order to facilitate the Bush administration’s political thaw with Libya.

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