The World Community and the International Human Rights Organisations are still concerned about lots of 19 Ukrainian civil technicians sentenced by new Libyan revolutionary power to long imprisonment for ostensibly interplay with the Gaddafi dictatorial regime. It’s expected that in May the Supreme Military Court of Libya considers Ukrainian appeal against the severe judgment of court given last year by Military Court of Tripoli to Ukrainian citizens who lawfully worked in Libya under peace contracts.
Justice power of new Libya declared the adherence to democratic principles should be serious examined in equity and humanism. They are able to show the mercy to unfortunate Ukrainians inherent in centuries-old Islamic traditions or to dispel hope for commutation of convicts showing that to all world their excessive severity and influence of opportunistic factors on decision-making.
Last June there was a session of Military Court of Tripoli in case of 19 Ukrainian citizens, 2 Russian citizens and 3 Byelorussian citizens, who were kept by revolutionary brigade Al-Kaakaa since August, 2011. The Libyan court recognized whole group guilty of participation in military equipment repair for Gaddafi regime that was used ostensibly against the Libyan people. According to verdict, one Russian citizen is sentenced to life imprisonment; other arrested people, 19 Ukrainians, 1 Russian and 3 Byelorussians – are sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment.
Lawyers of the Ukrainian party consider such a severe sentence as unjustified since Ukrainian citizens were actually condemned for attempted murder but they had been criminally captured by Gaddafi forces and forced at tommy gun point to take only insignificant part in repair of old defective military equipment made by former Soviet Union.
According to the Libyan legislation, the appeal has been lodged by Ukrainian lawyers on excessively severe sentence. It’s expected that appeal judgment will be passed by the Supreme Military Court of Libya in the near future.
Meanwhile, the case of condemned Ukrainian technicians by Libyan military power has drawn wide international response. It has already been not pure legal problem but a serious international political issue for a long time. Last year this question of lots of condemned Ukrainians, Russians and Belorussians in Libya was discussed even within the private consultations of the United Nations. A lot of authoritative international human rights organisations, in particular, FREEDOM HOUSE, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL and others have been taking actively part in issue of Ukrainian citizens’ discharge. The European Union and the USA have promised actively to promote in settlement of this case.
Made in Ukraine
From Ukraine highly skilled specialists have come to us: engineers, geologists, oil industry workers and builders. Till now in Libya a great number of Ukrainian doctors work who daily give medical help to our people. In Libya it’s also well known taste of bread baked from high-quality Ukrainian grain. The goods marked as made in Ukraine – trucks, engineering tools, boring equipment and pipes – are widely known and demanded in Libya.
However, after overthrow of a hated Gaddafi regime some foreign forces that strive to be enriched with oil resources of Libya have begun unprecedented campaign for discredit of Ukraine before the Libyan people. Enemies of Ukraine see it as serious economic competitor and want to drive a wedge between Libyan and Ukrainian friendly people at any cost. Their main goal is to cause a grave damage to long-term fruitful Ukrainian presence in Libya and other Arabian states. Corrupt foreign political strategists try strenuously to form unfriendly image of Ukraine at the new Libyan power associating the Ukrainian peace experts – doctors, engineers, teachers and builders – with military mercenaries of Gaddafi forces.
Only during last month Ukraine has been a party to some juicy scandals incited by international mass-media and connected with Libya directly or indirectly. Let’s remember at least a “sensational denunciation” by the Washington Post newspaper! Referring to some report of UN-experts it has mentioned Ukraine among the states that delivered the weapon to dictatorial Gaddafi regime illegal and infringing of UN-embargo.
However, documentary proofs of international sanctions’ infringement by Ukraine have not been presented. Official Kiev has strongly denied all charges to its address, emphasizing that “Ukraine did not deliver to Libya the military and special purpose goods from introduction of UN sanctions in 2011”. Official Ukrainian authorities said “distribution of such information is a step to weakening of Ukrainian positions as one of leading world exporters of arms and production of special purpose”. This story reminds very much a situation when Ukraine was accused of deliveries radar complexes “Kolchuga” to Iraq that was in practice a blowing of bubbles.
It’s necessary to note the fact of rather strange coincidence of such anti-Ukrainian performances with appeal consideration by the Supreme Military Court of Libya in case of Ukrainian citizens. It’s not ruled out that recent information attacks to Ukraine are directed including to bring psychological pressure on independent Libyan justice.
Libya-Ukraine: prospects of mutually advantageous cooperation
Now between Libya and Ukraine there are vast non-realised potential of mutually advantageous cooperation in political, economic and humanitarian spheres. It’s very important that political authorities of both countries show great determination to keep traditionally Libyan-Ukrainian friendship and interest to extend profound bilateral cooperation.
On February, 27 in Kiev the solemn reception devoted to 2nd anniversary of Libyan Revolution took place. Addressing to numerous Ukrainian and foreign visitors, the Charge d’Affaires and interim of Libya to Ukraine Mr. Kadum Saleh stated: “Cooperation spheres between Libya and Ukraine are very wide, in particular, in sphere of education, tourism and medicine. Thereupon, we are very much obliged to Ukrainian government for reception of tens wounded sons of the Libyan people for treatment in different Ukrainian hospitals. We confirm desire of the Libyan government to develop joint cooperation for the good and for the benefit of the Libyan and Ukrainian people”. Especially warm words Mr. Saleh addressed to the Ukrainian physicians underlining the following: “I welcome tens Ukrainian doctors and nurses refused to leave Libya during liberating war, and continued to render the humanitarian aid to our people. It remains essence of respect and deference among all of the Libyan people who will never forget their noble friends”.
Numerous high-ranking Ukrainian officials present at the state reception warmly congratulated in turn the friendly Libyan people on occasion of the second anniversary of revolution and wished them peace, consent, successes and prosperity.
Recently political dialogue between Tripoli and Kiev, both at the top-level and at the level the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, has considerably become more active. Libya receives from Ukraine considerable aid within the limits of realization of many bilateral and international humanitarian programs. It’s necessary to notice, that in 2012 bilateral goods turnover between Libya and Ukraine exceeded much more those activities existing before the Libyan revolution.
Libya-Ukraine: hand in hand on the way toward the consent and prosperity
Relations of long-term sincere friendship and mutual respect connect the people of Libya and Ukraine. Ukraine became one of the first states of the CEE, officially recognized National Transitional Council of Libya as the unique lawful representative body of the Libyan people. We remember that right after war in Libya friendly Ukraine called the whole world community to participate in restoration of economy of the new democratic Libyan state.
The long standing history of friendly relations between Libyan and Ukrainian people gives the hope to mothers, wives and children of the condemned Ukrainians, as well as many ordinary Libyans treated or educated in Ukraine that the Supreme Military Court of Libya will consider the appeal unprejudicedly showing traditional oriental magnanimity to Ukrainian citizens. Certainly, the act of mercy of the Libyan authorities will serve as a powerful impulse in trust strengthening between the governments of both countries and will promote development of bilateral mutually advantageous relations.
Nowadays the destroyed by war Libyan economy is in great need of Ukrainian goods, modern technologies and the skilled experts. The people of Libya crave for Ukrainian physicians to be back to the country and to provide assistance for everyone who needs, especially suffering during liberating war old men, women and children. Ordinary Libyans wish the qualitative and inexpensive goods marking “made in Ukraine” were in shops again. We, the Libyans, are friends of Ukraine. We will pray for lots of condemned Ukrainians and we’ll hope for fair consideration of the appeal in the Supreme Military Court of Libya. We are underlining: “Everything in this world destroyed by war and hatred may be restored only by love and consent”.
The friendly people of Libya and Ukraine should move together, hand in hand, forward to well-being and prosperity!
Dr. Omar Al-Tobruki