Two Important Activists 'Died' in US Custody This Month: Abu Anas al-Libi & Phil Africa
18 January 2015
By Karin Friedmann
Our America: Two major,
latest, crimes of our government.
Nazih Abdul-Hamed Nabih al-Ruqai'i, popularly
known as Abu Anas al-Libi, died in US custody on January 2, 2015 - just 3
months after he was kidnapped in Libya in front of his Tripoli home by a team
of US military, CIA and FBI agents [video: YouTube.com/watch?v=vY_TCwWg_aA ].
First, al-Libi was taken to a Navy ship for
torture. Intelligence officials interrogated him for a week after his capture
aboard the USS San Antonio in the Mediterranean, according to the Guardian.
He was then indicted and transferred to a prison in New York City. Reports
have surfaced that the US obtained evidence against him via a plea bargain
from Ali Mohamed, a former Egyptian army major who worked for the CIA and
Egyptian Islamic Jihad.In 2000, Mohamed received a life sentence without
parole after he pled guilty to five terrorist charges in connection with the
Al-Libi pled not guilty in October 2014 to
involvement in the 1998 US embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. He was
supposed to go to court on January 12, 2015 to defend himself against the
accusations. Instead, he was buried January 10 in Libya at a well-attended
'Adel Al-Masry, who was incarcerated
alongside him in America said that our beloved father was maltreated from the
moment he set foot in prison and was denied medical care, causing his health
to rapidly deteriorate," stated his son, Ahmed Nazeeh al Ruqai'y .
A document filed in court by the Department
of Justice said al-Libi "was taken from the Metropolitan Correctional Center
to a New York hospital due to sudden complications arising out of his
long-standing medical problems." Despite the care provided at the hospital,
the government claimed, his condition deteriorated rapidly and he passed away
Friday evening. They mention an imam was present with him at the hospital.
Could this imam lend more insight into what happened at the hospital? There
is no question that foul play could have been involved.
A similar though unrelated mysterious death
occurred in another US prison hospital the same week. On Sunday, January 4th,
2015, Phil Africa was secretly transported from his Dallas, Pennsylvania
prison to Wilkes Barre General Hospital at the same time as MOVE members were
attempting to visit him. At the hospital, he was held in isolation for 5 days
and not even allowed to call his wife of 44 years, Janine Africa. Due to the
hospital and prison receiving hundreds of phone calls in support from around
the world, Phil was finally allowed to call Janine on Thursday, January 8th.
She reported that he was heavily drugged, incoherent and couldn't even hold
the phone to talk to her. On Friday, January 9th Phil was sent back to the
prison infirmary. On Saturday, January 10th Ramona and Carlos Africa were
granted permission to visit Phil in the prison infirmary. When they reached
him he was incoherent and couldn't talk or move his head to look at them. An
hour after they left, they got a call that Phil passed away.
"Inmates in the infirmary and others in the
prison were shocked when they heard the news. They had witnessed his vigorous
health for decades in the prisons, had just seen him stretching and doing
jumping jacks six days earlier," reads a statement written by the family.
"When Merle Africa died in prison on March 13th, 1998 the conditions were
very similar. She had been one way in the prison, but within hours of being
forced to go to an outside hospital she was dead."
Phil Africa was a member of the Black
revolutionary group, MOVE, whose home was bombed in Philadelphia by the US
government on May 13, 1985. Two of Phil's children died in the fire.
Al-Libi also lost one of his sons in the
Libyan independence struggle. (Details unknown).
Al-Libi's wife, Umm Abdul Rahman, didn't deny
that her husband had been an al-Qaeda member, who fought against the Soviets
in Afghanistan in the 1980s. "My husband was affiliated with al-Qaeda a long
time ago. But he was never a senior leader in al-Qaeda," she said. Later on
he got involved with the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, she said. "They had a
common vision, a common cause, a common enemy, which was the Gaddafi regime
and they wanted to overthrow this regime."
His commitment to the ousting of Libya's
longtime dictator resulted in several years of imprisonment in poor
conditions in Iran after the family fled Afghanistan.
Al-Libi was given asylum by the UK but was
nevertheless frequently harassed by British police. His family home was
raided many times, but he was never charged with any crime. A close friend,
quoted by the Associated Press, said al-Libi's family had returned to Libya
around 2011 under a policy introduced by Gaddafi's son, Saif al-Islam, to
promote reconciliation with regime opponents who gave up violence.
Disgracing the concept of due process, U.S.
President Barack Obama asserted at a press conference in Washington DC that
al-Libi was behind the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings. He "helped plan and
execute plots that killed hundreds of people, a whole lot of Americans. We
have strong evidence of that."US Secretary of State John Kerry boasted that
"members of al-Qaeda ... literally can run but they can't hide." American
lawmakers praised the military operation of the man's kidnapping.
His son Ahmed Nazeeh al Ruqai'y stated: "We
will not forget. Neither will we get over what happened at the hands of the
Americans, who prevented us from visiting our father and deprived us from