Opening of a judicial inquiry targeting Amesys for complicity in acts of torture in Libya

FIDH and LDH welcome the opening of a judicial investigation following a complaint filed last October against the company Amesys for complicity in acts of torture in Libya.

On 19 October 2011, our organizations filed a complaint concerning the responsibility of the company Amesys, a subsidiary of Bull, for crimes allegedly committed through the supplying to Gaddafi’s regime, beginning in 2007, of a surveillance system intended to monitor communications of the Libyan population.

FIDH and the LDH also welcome the attribution of this case to the specialized unit in war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, recently created within the Paris Tribunal, as they had requested.

We regret that it took seven months before a judicial inquiry was actually opened concerning a such a serious case. Our organizations hope that the investigations will be quickly dealt with, in France as well as in Libya, to establish the truth and the potential responsibility of Amesys, declared Patrick Baudouin, Honorary President and Coordinator of the Litigation Action Group (GAJ) of FIDH.

This is a doubly symbolic case: On the one hand, because it involves a company that made a commercial agreement with a dictatorial regime, giving it the means to reinforce the repression of its population; on the other hand because it will contribute to bringing to light the serious crimes committed under Gaddafi’s regime, stated Michel Tubiana, Honorary President of LDH.

The facts

When Tripoli was liberated, on 29 August 2011, journalists from the Wall Street Journal entered the building where the Libyan regime monitored communications. They found manuals written in English carrying the logo of Amesys, a French subsidiary of the Bull Group.

In 2007, Amesys entered into an agreement with the government of Libya to make technology available for the purpose of intercepting communication, data processing and analysis.

Agreements for technological cooperation, and more particularly software installation, included not only the supplying of equipment, but also a phase of development, assistance and monitoring.

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