Fathi el-Jahmi May Not Live to See His Next Birthday

April 22, 2009
Fathi el-Jahmi © Private
Fathi el-Jahmi © Private

Earlier this month, prisoner of conscience Fathi el-Jahmi turned another year older inside prison walls in Libya. He was arrested in 2002 after calling for political reform and free speech at a conference in Tripoli, and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment. Due to international support, he was released early in March 2004. Unfortunately, only weeks later, after repeating his call for democracy and political reform, he was detained yet again and has been in prison ever since. He suffers from heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes, and his health continues to deteriorate.

There’s a letter circulating in Congress right now, sponsored by Congressmen Frank Wolf and Mark Kirk, calling on the Libyan government to immediately release Fathi el-Jahmi and allow him to pursue medical care outside of Libya, according to his wishes. This letter really is our best chance at influencing the Lybian government, and Fathi el-Jahmi’s best chance at living to see another birthday—but so far not enough Members of Congress have signed on. Please take action!