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For your rights and mine

To: Dr. Ali Errishi,

After I read your letter, I realized that it is not going to be easy to respond to a letter with this quality of penmanship. Although I know Dr. Ali's qualifications, skills and training, I decided to respond to some of the points/arguments that he shared with us in his letter.

Dr. Ali kept talking and defending, time and time again, in every paragraph, the right of those who want to visit or go back to "the old country" for good. My question to Dr. Ali is this: Who ever questioned the right of any Libyan to visit his home? Many Libyans had done it in the past, are doing it now, and will do it in the future, and they have every right to do so if they wish, after all, they still have families and friends there. You have done it yourself before and after
Mr. Dourda's meetings and you came back safe and secure. So the right to visit Libya was not an issue before and it is not an issue now.

The rights we have been discussing in this page for the past few months are the rights of Libyans inside their country, Libyans inside Libya have no rights. We have been talking about the basic rights of the Libyan people, such as the right to health care services, the right to learn, the right to live in a safe environment, the right of free speech...etc. These are the rights the Libyans want to take back from Gaddafi's dictatorial regime. Here where we differ. If all what you and those who attended the N.Y. meetings are after is the right to travel to Libya; look no further because you already possess that right.

The other point that you included in your argument is passport renewal. Again this had never been an issue. All what you need to renew a passport is an application that can be sent to you from the Libyan UN office and $100. Many Libyans had their passports renewed throughout the years and have their children registered and added to their passports too. After all, the right to renew you passport and any other services are mandated by law and all public officers should provide them to all Libyans outside their county without delay. So it does not need meetings in order for the public officers to assume their responsibilities and duties.

Another disagreement with Dr. Ali, when he used generalizations unjustly in one of his paragraphs and passed judgements on the Libyans motives for living outside their county. You said and I quote "we are all here because we want to enjoy certain rights/privileges". This is what the regime always trying to say about those who refuse to live under its mercy and its control. Most of the Libyans who chose to live outside their country did so in order to protest what is going on in Libya. It is a matter of principal.

Also, in another paragraph you passed another unjust judgement on many Libyans by implying that all Libyans are fighting the regime from "their living rooms and coffee shops." If we assume that this statement is accurate then why is it that all of Gaddafi's jails are full and why all these executions and hangings. During the students' uprising in Libya in the mid 70's, you and many other students were studying in the U.S.A. and the regime decided then to cut off your scholarships because of your activities, we did not fight the regime's unjustified decision in our living rooms or the coffee shops but we took it to the streets and in the universities in order to defend your rights for higher education that was needed then and is needed now. All those brave Libyans whom we hear about their activities in fighting the corrupt and fascist regime inside our country are fighting for your rights and mine.

You also brought another point in your letter, which seems to bother some Libyans! It is the use of names from the regime's long list of victims (martyrs). I still do not know what is wrong with that. These are our martyrs. People every where in the world display the names of their heroes and martyrs publicly so people get inspired by them, appreciate their sacrifice and keep their memory fresh in the minds of the criminals who killed them. Besides, they are relatives, friends, classmates and prison cellmates and we all admire what they stood for.

Although we all do agree with you when you said that the Libyan people are good people and they are not foolish -it goes without saying-, but they are not free, they have no right whatsoever and they live in a big prison called Libya and Gaddafi and his thugs are its masters. We are not going to hate Gaddafi forever, but we will resist and fight his regime in any way possible, just like our fathers and grandfathers did to the Italian occupation. The regime will be crushed and Gaddafi and his gang will be brought to justice IN SHAA ALLAH. Who would thought that the dictator of Chile will stand trial for the crimes he committed against his people.

Mohamed Hami

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