UN ‘gravely concerned’ over Tunisia detention of Libya expert

The UN said Tunisia are violating the immunities Moncef Kartas enjoys. (AFP/File)
Updated 13 April 2019

UN ‘gravely concerned’ over Tunisia detention of Libya expert

  • Tunisian authorities accuse the expert of spying
  • The UN sent four separate legal notes to Tunisia

UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations has expressed its “grave concern” over the detention in Tunisia of a UN expert tasked with investigating violations of a Libya arms embargo.
“The arrest and detention by the Tunisian authorities of Moncef Kartas... while he was performing his official duties is a matter of very grave concern,” the spokesman for the UN secretary-general said in a statement Friday.
Tunisian Moncef Kartas was arrested in Tunis on March 26 along with a fellow national on suspicion of “spying for foreign parties,” according to Tunisian authorities.
Kartas was on Thursday brought before an investigative judge who “decided to continue” his detention, Stephane Dujarric said.
“The continued detention is in violation of the privileges and immunities that Mr. Kartas enjoys,” he added.
The UN has engaged with Tunisia’s government “at the highest levels,” according to the spokesman, making clear its legal position through four separate legal notes.
But the government had “failed to provide an adequate response,” he said.
Tunisia’s interior ministry said last month “confidential documents containing sensitive detailed data capable of harming national security” were seized in relation to UN expert’s arrest.
It also alleged technical equipment for jamming and intercepting communications — banned in Tunisia — had been confiscated.
Kartas was appointed to the panel of experts in 2016, tasked with investigating violations of an arms embargo on Libya.
The panel reports to the UN sanctions committee on Libya and details its findings in an annual report. An interim report is due in June.
Previous reports by the panel have found that arms and ammunition have repeatedly been delivered to warring parties in Libya in violation of the UN embargo, with the involvement of member states.

Omani Foreign Minister begins Tehran visit

Updated 47 min 45 sec ago

Omani Foreign Minister begins Tehran visit

  • The visit comes amid escalated tensions in the region

DUBAI: Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi began his Tehran visit on Tuesday, Al-Arabiya television news channel reported.

The visit comes amid escalated tensions and economic uncertainties in the region that began at the start of 2020.

On Jan. 3 the United States killed Iran’s military commander, Gen. Qassem Soleimani in an air strike attack in Iraq.

Following Soleimani’s death, US President Donald Trump promised to target 52 Iranian sites if Iran retaliated.

In response, Iran fired more than a dozen ballistic missiles in the early hours of Jan. 8.

Oman maintains friendly ties with both the United States and Iran and has previously been a go-between for the two countries, which severed diplomatic relations after the 1979 Iranian revolution.