Subject: The Government of Libya should Responsible for the Beheading of a Filipino Employee in Benghazi
To: Embassy of Libya in Indonesia
Jl. Pekalongan No.24
Phone: +62 21 335308 / 335754
Fax: +62 21 335726
Dear Honorable Ambassador of Libya in Indonesia,
The Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS) – a human rights non-governmental organization based in Jakarta – strongly condemn the beheading of an employee at Kibra Construction Company by the militia in Benghazi, Libya – allegedly for being a non-Muslim.
Beheading is a form of humiliation and intimidation which have violated international obligations that Libya has acceded such as International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and Convention against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT). This case shows how the threats to migrant workers' safety and security became more imminent in Libya.
The story begins when a Filipino, whose identity we refused to disclose, was kidnapped by armed men on July 15 and was subsequently beheaded in Benghazi. His remains were found at a hospital on July 20. The vehicle he was riding in was stopped in a checkpoint. There were three of them – a Libyan, a Pakistani, and a Filipino. And he was allegedly singled out because he was non-Muslim. The Filipino’s kidnappers initially demanded a ransom of $160,000 or about P6.9 million.
Four days later, however, his body was discovered at a hospital. The company negotiated with the kidnappers and on the fourth day when they decided to pay the ransom, they received a call from the abductors on July 20 and referred them to a Benghazi hospital. The body was already in a state of advanced decomposition when seen by the employers. It is possible that he was already dead when the kidnappers were negotiating for ransom.
We believe that the actions carried out by the militia have violated international obligations which Libya has acceded and should ensure its implementation, which are:
Article 18 of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR):
- Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching.
- No one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice.
Article 26 of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR):
- All persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law. In this respect, the law shall prohibit any discrimination and guarantee to all persons equal and effective protection against discrimination on any ground such as race, .colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
Article 4 of Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT):
- Each State Party shall ensure that all acts of torture are offences under its criminal law. The same shall apply to an attempt to commit torture and to an act by any person which constitutes complicity or participation in torture.
- Each State Party shall make these offences punishable by appropriate penalties which take into account their grave nature.
Article 16 of Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT):
- Each State Party shall undertake to prevent in any territory under its jurisdiction other acts of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment which do not amount to torture as defined in article 1, when such acts are committed by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. In particular, the obligations contained in articles 10, 11, 12 and 13 shall apply with the substitution for references to torture of references to other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Also bearing in mind that Libya is a member of United Nations who is obliged under Article 5 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR): noone shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; and Article 18 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR): everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
Therefore, by sending this letter, we would like to demand and urge your Government to abide international obligations and immediately process – under a fair and transparent law process – the offender of this beheading.
Jakarta, July 23, 2014
Executive Coordinator of KontraS
*For further information please contact Ms.Ninies (email@example.com) or through KontraS Secretariat (firstname.lastname@example.org)