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An Open Letter to Abdel-Rahman Shalgem

Dear Sir,

For those who do not know you, you once stood for the right of the Libyan intellectuals and the young writers to say their minds. As an Editor-in-chief of "Al-Asbou’ al-Thagafi" you and your group wrote on many of the abuses of power. In point of fact, your publication was shut down, and you and your group were jailed for a long time. Some of your colleagues had to leave the country and have not been able to return. Their reasons as you know is that the regime has made it impossible for them to stay true to their conscious and live under the present absence of civil and individual liberties. Some had commented that your appointment might be an indication of change in the heart of you boss. Obviously, that is very doubtful.

In your interview with "al-Sharg al-Awsat," you stated categorically that Libyans do not need to worry about their abilities to differ from the views of the regime. That the popular committees are just but an avenue for political struggle for the betterment of the country.

Dear Sir,

Can you tell me whose committees are they? Are not they the tools of the ruling class to keep them in power? Why is it mandatory that people have to attend the committees meetings or lose some of their rights to government services? Can you tell me under what jurisdiction, and according to what law, does the security apparatus confiscate our passports, interrogate us if we were away for more than six months, confiscate the travel documents of Libyans with dual citizenships, and other actions that are contrary to even existing Libyan law. What has happened to innocent until proven guilty? Why is the administrative detention policy still in effect where people may be detained for several years without a court, or even the civil Prosecutors orders? Why is it that the Ministers of your Government can afford houses and cars in the millions of dollars where their official compensation does not reach $400 per month? Why can not the average citizen afford to buy or rent an apartment, unless he confiscates someone else’s property?

Dear Sir,

If you can not tell the truth, then abstain from telling lies. I do not blame you for taking your present post, you may be qualified and mean to help as much as you can. But, to become a willing tool in the hands of the Master puppeteer is not an honorable way of life. You are not the only one of course, but you are among those who should know better.

Leebi

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