Tunis, 8 August 2013:
Tunisia has released 21 convicted Libyan prisoners. They were among 343 prisoners pardoned by Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki to mark Eid Al-Fitr, two-thirds of whom had less than three months of their sentebnces left to serve. A further 981 prisoners are reported by the Tunisian news agency TAP to had their sentences reduced by Marzouki, but it is now known if there are any Libyans among them.
The Libyan Consul-General in Tunis, Mohammed Ferjani, was quoted by the Libyan new agency LANA as saying that the 23 were released as a result of the efforts of the Libyan diplomats in Tunisia.
The freed Libyans have not been named nor their crimes announced. However, most, if not all, are thought to have been serving time for drugs offences. Most Libyans in jail in Tunisia are said to have been drugs dealers.
According to the Tunisian Minister of Justice, Nadhir Ben Ammou, none of those released – Libyans or Tunisians – were convicted terrorists.
This is the sixth time that Libyans have been included in a Tunisian presidential general amnesty. In March 23 Libyans were freed on the occasion of Tunisian Independence Day.