Australian detained in Libya
Minister for Foreign Affairs Senator Bob Carr today called on Libyan authorities to ensure the security of Ms Melinda Taylor and work toward her immediate release from detention in Zintan, Libya.
A lawyer with the International Criminal Court (ICC), Ms Taylor was in Libya as part of a four-person ICC legal team ahead of proceedings against Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, son of former ruler Muammar Gaddafi. She was detained on Thursday June 7 for alleged breaches of Libyan national security.
Senator Carr said he had spoken with Australia’s Ambassador-designate to Libya, David Ritchie, and his department had also contacted the Libyan Ambassador in Australia to support Ms Taylor’s release.
“I have asked our Ambassador to travel at once to Libya to assist Ms Taylor,” Senator Carr said.
“Australia wants Libyan authorities to grant immediate consular access to Melinda Taylor, and provide every assistance in securing her release.”
Senator Carr said consular officials continued to seek access to Ms Taylor, in co-ordination with the ICC, the UK and other countries. Consular staff had also been in touch with Ms Taylor’s family.
“The President of the International Criminal Court has expressed concerns about Ms Taylor’s safety and that of her colleagues,” Senator Carr said.
“I share those concerns, particularly as there has been no contact by consular staff.
“This was an authorised visit to Libya by an independent legal team, ahead of international court proceedings.
“Libyan authorities have strongly co-operated with the International Criminal Court to date.
“I urge that co-operation to continue, with immediate consular access to Ms Taylor and a swift end to her detention in Zintan.”