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Home » Libya » Joint Communique on Libya

September 2012 

A 30-year-old Australian aid worker has been prevented from leaving Libya while police are conducting an inquiry after she was caught up in a police investigation into a senior official.

According to Australian foreign minister Bob Carr, Alexandra ‘Pippi’ had not been arrested and is not detained but cannot leave the country while police conduct their inquiry. She was stopped from leaving the country at the Tripoli International Airport by Libyan authorities. She had her passport confiscated after refusing to sign an Arabic document without a translation.

Ms Bean has spoken to consular officials in Cairo, who will continue to assist her as much as is required. While Senator Carr has said that Ms Bean should have the right to leave the country but Libyan authorities were concerned that if she left the country she may not return.

“We will protect her, in these circumstances, as we protect any Australian in this sort of position,” Mr Carr said in New York.

Fairfax Media reported that Ms Bean, may have been embroiled in rumours she had been sexually assaulted by a senior Libyan health official.

In June, Australian lawyer Melinda Taylor and her three International Criminal Court (ICC) colleagues were detained by Libyan officials for allegedly carrying documents for the imprisoned son of Muammar Gaddafi, Seif al-Islam, that were considered a threat to national security.

She was freed after a personal intervention by Senator Carr.

Ms Bean was working in Libya for the International Organisation for Migration, IOM, an intergovernmental organisation established in 1951 to facilitate humane and orderly migration.

It provides services and advice to governments and migrants in more than 100 countries.

Senator Carr said Ms Bean would be provided with consular assistance but not legal assistance, in keeping with Australian government practice.

Her brother, James Bean, said his sister had been detained and questioned by men, without a lawyer or other women present, about alleged sexual offences.

She needed help, he said.

“We have a young Australian woman facing some pretty horrible allegations about her,” Mr Bean told ABC radio. “Why doesn’t this warrant sending a consular official to provide her with assistance?”

He went on to say that his sister was now staying with a friend in Tripoli and just wanted to get out of Libya to “decompress”.

Mr Bean spoke to his sister multiple times on Thursday and said she was not coping very well. He said she was tough and had done aid work in parts of Uganda that were notorious for tribal warfare.

He hopes the situation won’t drag on for weeks or months because ‘Pippi’ was due to travel to Bali in 10 days to be present at the birth of his fourth child.

Source: Tripoli Post 

Categories: News, Press

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