The Head of the investigations department at the Attorney General’s office, Al-Siddiq Al-Sour, revealed the Attorney General’s instructions regarding the protesters who were detained in Tripoli due to the August 23 movement’s protests.
Al-Sour confirmed that the Public Prosecution’s instructions stipulated the immediate release of 13 detained protesters, while about eight others were suspected of being involved in riots.
He also indicated that a decision was issued to immediately release about 60 to 70 demonstrators who had not committed any crime, indicating the pretrial detention of the demonstrators was carried out for investigations and that all of them will be released.
Regarding the steps taken by the Public Prosecutor’s Office after the arrest of the demonstrators, Al-Sour said that they directly communicated with the relevant police authorities, after which they were given a report by the Libyan intelligence service and other security agencies that had evidence regarding the demonstrations. Then, the Attorney General’s office ordered to release demonstrators who had committed no crime.
During his speech, Al-Sour touched on Law 65 of 2012 related to peaceful protest, stressing that the Law and the Constitutional Declaration guarantee the right to demonstrate for all citizens, but that some procedures must be followed.
The head of the investigations department at the Attorney General’s office highlighted a fallacy he described as “big” regarding obtaining the right to demonstrate, saying: “The majority of citizens talk about the need to obtain permission from the Ministry of Interior. However, the formal procedure is for the demonstration to take place by communicating with the Security Directorate concerned with the area in which the gathering will take place.”
He explained that such communication occurs by notifying the Security Directorate in writing of the date and place of the demonstration, 48 hours before the date set for its start. Accordingly, the Security Directorate is to decide whether the request can be accepted and give the final decision to the organisers of the demonstration 12 hours before the date set for the demonstration.
Hundreds of Libyans marched in the capital Tripoli on 23 August to protest deteriorating living conditions and denounce corruption in the war-torn country.
Angry at extended cuts to power and water, and long lines at petrol stations, the mostly young people marched in the streets of the city centre, chanting slogans including “No to corruption! “
Libya, which sits atop Africa’s largest proven crude oil reserves, has endured almost a decade of violent chaos since the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that toppled and killed Muammar Gaddafi.