Alistair Burt, minister in the UK Foreign Office
Exclusive to Point of No Return
The British undersecretary for Foreign Affairs, Alistair Burt, will raise the forced departure of David Gerbi from Libya with the Libyan authorities after his attention was drawn to it, seemingly for the first time, by a letter from Robert Halfon MP. Assets of the Libyan regime frozen in Britain will not be used to compensate victims of the Gaddafi regime, Burt affirmed.
Assets of the Libyan regime frozen by the British government cannot be used to compensate Libyan Jews whose property was seized by the Gaddafi regime, the British undersecretary for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Alistair Burt, has affirmed.
In a reply to a letter about Jews and other minorities in Libya from Robert Halfon MP, (himself of Libyan origin), Mr Burt urged 'individuals who feel they have a claim against the Libyan authorities to pursue the matter through the appropriate legal channels'. He quoted the Libyan Prime Minister al-Kib's call for the establishment of a programme to gather testimony from victims of the Gaddafi regime and to process compensation claims.
It appears that Mr Burt had been previously unaware of the forced exit of Dr David Gerbi, the psychiatrist whose life was threatened simply for expressing the desire to clean up the Dar al-Bishi synagogue in Tripoli.
"I was very concerned to hear about this deplorable incident," Mr Burt wrote. " I have asked our Embassy to raise this case with the Libyan authorities.
"The British government is concerned about the rights of all minorities in Libya. the National Transitional Council's Constitutional Declaration states that all Libyans are equal and are not discriminated against because of religion, faith, language, wealth, gender, ancestry, political views, social status or tribal group or family affiliation.
We have urged the NTC to live up to these commitments. It will be important for the new Libyan government to signal a clear break from the past. The Libyan government's respect for human rights violations is therefore crucial."
The UK was determined to be a strong partner for Libya in its transition to an 'open democratic state.'