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Abu Salim reveals its dark secrets

Abu Salim reveals its dark secrets
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It is believed 1,200 detainees were massacred in Tripoli’s infamous Abu Salim prison in 1996 and thousands have been tortured there.

On August 24, the rebels threw the doors open. euronews accompanied two former political prisoners as they returned to Abu Salim to recount their experiences there.

“God gave us a gift in 1998,” says Younes, who says he spent 16 years behind bars there.

“In this place there was a hole and inside it, a radio was hidden,” he explains, pointing to the ceiling of a cell. “All the prisoners listened to this radio. God made the guards blind so they didn’t see it, it was simple radio.”

Over the last week former prisoners such as Abu Baker, who says he was detained for 15 years, have been describing the kind of treatment they suffered. For example, they were forbidden to look at the sky while exercising in the yard.

“If someone looked up,” says Abu Baker, “The guards would send the other prisoners back to their rooms. Then a group of them would attack, torture and beat him.”

Our correspondent, Jamel Ezzedini, says the stories of Abu Baker and Younes are corroborated by those of hundreds of other prisoners who passed through the notorious Abu Salim.