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Simon Escapes Libyan Jail

9/25/2010 Libya (Peace FM online) – Simon Kwabena Nketia has escaped from what he describes as the iron hands of the Libyan security, through whom several people have lost their lives.

Nketia, who sneaked into a Togolese-government sponsored flight with his cousin at dawn a fortnight ago, said as at the time of his escape, several Ghanaians were languishing in Libyan jail under excruciating conditions. Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire and Togo, he said, had at least sent two flights each for their nationals in Libyan jail, but there had not been any flight or arrangement to the effect of rescuing Ghanaians, some of whom had spent more than a year in the camp. Nketia had to struggle to find his way to Accra from Lome with no money on him.

According to him, a senior government official (name withheld) had told them in Libya that Ghana Government’s intervention in rescuing them had delayed because it had sold all planes owned by Ghana Airways, aside other unsavoury comments about the president.

Six hundred and forty-three Ghanaians who attempted to stowaway from Libya to Europe through the Mediterranean Sea are currently rotting away in a Libyan detention camp, with over 2,000 other inmates from various countries.

Despite the Libyan authorities’ open acknowledgement of our innocence, “the prison guards often take some of us out and tie our hands to hanging ropes and whip us with some leather-like ropes. Sometimes, some people have the skins on their backs almost peeled off,” said Nketia, who could no longer hold back the tears he had been trying to control since the interview began.

According to Nketia, who had been in Libya since August 2006, Vice President Mahama visited Libya and appealed for clemency for one gentleman, Daniel Baidoo, who had been jailed for preaching the Christian faith in Libya, an Islamic country.

The preacher-man, Baidoo had been sentenced to 25 years in Jedidah Maximum Security Prison since 2001 for receiving Christian literature in Arabic, a language he neither understood nor read. He was arrested at the Garyan Post Office when he went to collect a parcel said to contain the material.

He was freed on April 25, last year following a plea for clemency by the Vice President.

Under Libyan law, it is criminal to evangelize or try to convert a Libyan to any other religion apart from Islam.

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