Swiss FM visits two Swiss detained in Libya

2nd June 2009, Comments 2 comments

The pair was banned from leaving Libya amid a diplomatic dispute.

Geneva -- Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey travelled to Libya the last week of May to visit two Swiss citizens who were banned from leaving Libya for over 300 days, her ministry said Friday.

The pair was unable to obtain exit visas to leave Libya amid a diplomatic dispute between Switzerland and Libya following Geneva police's arrest of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi's son Hannibal.

The ministry said meetings held during Calmy-Rey's visit from Wednesday to Friday "brought about significant progress" towards resolving the conflict between the two countries.

Calmy-Rey was accompanied by the pair's spouses and a doctor.

"The Swiss foreign minister met the two Swiss citizens to lend support to them during this difficult situation and to get for herself an idea of their physical and psychological state of health," a statement said.

Hannibal Kadhafi and his wife, then pregnant, were arrested in a Geneva hotel in July after two of their domestic staff claimed they were abused.

The Kadhafis were eventually released and the complaint was dropped, but the case caused tensions between Libya and Switzerland.

Swiss firms are still unable to freely conduct business in Libya, the ministry added.

AFP / Expatica

2 Comments To This Article

  • Adel posted:

    on 4th June 2009, 10:50:17 - Reply

    well,,, i think what you have written brings up how ignorant you are regarding the country you visited. i have visited LIBYA at least once for the past couple of years and never been arrested in anyway. i know from experience that every country has its own policies and procedures, but that never the case you stated. it is funny is that you Mentioned "escaped" . i dont think if you committed an unlawful act , you could escape just like you said. that is , sorry to say , called ignorance !!!
  • adnan posted:

    on 2nd June 2009, 12:16:58 - Reply

    i really feel bad for the two swiss citizens. I was in libya representing a swiss company at the time the problems started. libyan authorities were going aroung and arresting all the managers of the swiss companies. it is very common in libya to confiscate pasports of foreign nationals for whatever reason they feel like. i was also about to be arrested for the same reason even though i am not a swiss national, but luckily i escaped the arrest and left the country. i understand the grief of the swiss citizens as Libya is like a prison it self, especially when you can not travel and leave the country. but unfortunately that is how dictatorships function. i hope that the swiss inocent nationals will be let free even though i doubt it will be soon knowing how libya functions.