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September 10, 1980 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-09-10

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The Michigan Daily-Wednesday, September 10, 1980-Page 5

Hundreds arrested in
Libya; trials held on TV

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP)-While
mysterious death squads murdered his
opponents abroad, Libyan leader Col.
Moammar Khadafy has arrested hun-
4dreds of high-ranking officials at home
and forced many to stand as defendants
in corruption trials on prime-time
television. ,
The crackdown comes as Khadafy
strives to build a radical egalitarian
society in his vast but sparsely
populated North African nation.
"We have gotten rid of many people
who were outside the logic of the
revolution," an official at the Infor-
mation Secretariat said of the arrests
and trials. "It was necessary in the in-
terest of the majority of the people."
KHADAFY HAS disclaimed respon-
sibility for the string of slayings over-
seas. But Western security officials are
convinced his agents were responsible.
Khadafy ┬░had warned his foes in exile
they might be "liquidated," and the
killers left notes identifying themselves
as Libyan "People's Committees,"
loyalist groups Khadafy calls the "cut-
ting edge of the revolution."
The repression has intensified as an-
ti-Khadafy dissent grows in the wake of
the effective confiscation of private
bank accounts and other far-reaching
economic steps.
Longtime foreign residents of this oil-
rich nation say they believe that
Khadafy, 38, has begun to lose some of
the popular support he gained with
dramatic improvements in housing,
education, and medical care during his
U1-year rule.
* leader
asks unity
WARSAW, Poland (AP)-Poland's
new Communist leader journeyed
'yesterday to a southern industrial cen-
fer and called for unity in the state-
controlled trade union movement,
badly shaken by recent strikes and
demands for independent unions. The
trip was his second in two days to for-
mer strike centers.
His visit coincided with pre'ss reports
that labor unions representing jour-
nalists and dockworkers were moving
to withdraw from the state-run Trade
Union Council and operate as indepen-
dent trade unions.
BOARDS OF the dockworkers' and
journalists' unions planned to submit
secession motions before their respec-
tive organizations at congresses later
this year, the reports said.
They also said teachers at Warsaw
University were organizing an in-
dependent trade union with the help of
colleagues from Jagiellonian Univer-
sity in Krakow, who set up their union
last weekend.
In a speech to party faithful in
Katowice, Stanislaw Kania said the
trade union issue must be treated "with
calm and consistency." Polish
Television, in a summary of his
remarks, quoted Kania as saying: "We
stand on the ground of unity in the trade
union movement. Unity is our great
achievement and we shall take care of
dication whether Kania mentioned in-
dependent unions, a major concession
granted the Baltic coast strikers and
coal miners who walked off their jobs
near Katowice last month. The gover-
nment has said the agreements will ap-
ply nationwide.
Observers saw the trips as part of an
effort by Kania, named last weekend as

Communist Party first secretary, to
end the work stoppages that continued
in scattered parts of Poland.

LIBYAN AND foreign sources, who
asked not to be identified, say op-
position is concentrated among the
wealthy and college-educated. But or-
dinary Libyans are, also growing
dissatisfied as the government
nationalizes small shops and forces
teen-age girls to undergo military
training, the sources say.
Early this year, Khadafy warned
Libyans abroad to return home or face
"physical liquidation." Between March
and May this year, eight Libyan
dissidents were slain in European
cities. The "Revolutionary Commit-
tees" left notes on their victims' bodies
or otherwise claimed responsibility for
the murders.
At home, Libyan police this year have
arrested an estimated 2,000 Libyans,
mostly in high positions in government,

industry and the military, Western
residents say.
PANELS MADE up of members of
the Revolutionary Committees have
"tried" 500 of the arrested people on
charges of taking bribes, stealing
public money, or exporting currency
illegally. All of the defendants con-
fessed in the inquiries, which were
broadcast live each night from 1 p.m. to
11 p.m. on Libyan television.
Knowledgeable Western residents
said many officials probably were
guilty of some kind of corruption. But
they added that many of the people on
trial appeared to have bruises on their
faces and arms and may have "con-
fessed" under torture. Both Libyan and
foreign sources here said they believe
that police beat many prisoners during

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