March 27, 2005 | Press Release

CPD Calls on Libya to Free Imprisoned Democracy Activist

Physicians for Human Rights reports that Fathi Eljahmi is suffering from “life-threatening conditions”


Washington, D.C. (March 28, 2005) – The leadership of the Committee on the Present Danger (CPD) called on Libya to free democracy activist Fathi Eljahmi from prison following the release of a report by the Physicians For Human Rights citing his “rapidly failing health.”


Physicians for Human Rights, after initially being denied access to Mr. Eljahmi, was  allowed to send a representative to examine him in prison after the Wall Street Journal ran an editorial criticizing the Libyan regime for refusing a request from the CPD to meet with Mr. Eljahmi.


The following statement was issued by CPD co-Chairmen George Shultz, former Secretary of State; R. James Woolsey, former Director of Central Intelligence; Vaclav Havel, former President of the Czech Republic; and José Maria Aznar, former Prime Minister of Spain:


“When we invited Mr. Eljahmi to join the Committee on the Present Danger on Jan. 21, 2005, we sought the opportunity to meet with him and to have independent doctors examine his health.  Now that Physicians for Human Rights has completed its report, it is clear that Col. Mu'ammar al-Gaddafi and the Libyan regime, by denying him proper medical care, have essentially sentenced Mr. Eljahmi to death for speaking out in favor of democracy and human rights.

“We call on Col. Gaddafi to release Mr. Eljahmi immediately, without condition, and to refrain from further harassment of him or his family.  Mr. Eljahmi has suffered greatly for his beliefs, as has his family.  He has rejected all offers to buy his silence and has sacrificed his wealth, health and personal freedom to the cause of liberty.  He deserves the opportunity to be heard.

“Much has been made, justifiably, of Libya's promise to end its weapons program and seek stronger relations with the free world.  The Libyan regime's willingness to accept democratic dissent must be the measure by which free nations evaluate its sincerity and progress.  For Libya to pass this test, Fathi Eljahmi must be freed.”

The Committee on the Present Danger is an international, non-partisan organization of individuals from the policy, political, academic, business, labor and professional communities dedicated to protecting and expanding democracy by winning the global war against terrorism and the movements and ideologies that drive it.  For more information, please visit

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***FDD President Clifford May is chairman of the policy committee of the Committee on the Present Danger.