Russian television channel NTV broadcasted a lengthy interview with Russian sociologist Maxim Shugaley, who was recently released from detention in Tripoli along with his translator Samer Seifan. He accused the CIA of supervising RADA’s Mitiga prison and revealed the horrifying conditions they were held under.
The Russian NTV channel’s news report described Maxim Shugaley’s terrible ordeal in the Libyan prison run by RADA where foreign security services are based and who were responsible for questioning him. He revealed seeing people who were not local residents but foreigners during his detention.
Shugaley and Seifan were arrested by Tripoli authorities for allegedly conspiring with Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of Libya’s former leader Muammar Gaddafi with the aim of affecting elections and on taking power in the county. Experts say the arrest of the two men was for the purposes of using them as pawns against Russia.
Shugaley said: “When I was taken to a car from the second floor, they covered my head with the bag that I used to take to the gym. They tried to cover my eyes with this bag but I could still see what was going on around me, and I could see people who obviously did not look like locals at all.”
He said: “They were people who showed restraint because they were carefully browsing our papers,” he added: “My translator was beaten but they never reacted to his screaming or even the furniture collapsing, which means that those people had a clear mission and they were the ones who planned the kidnapping.”
According to the Russian channel, Maxim Shugaley and Samir Seuifan were detained at Mitiga prison in the capital Tripoli, which is run by the Special Deterrence Force (RADA). RADA operates under the Government of National Accord (GNA). Many of those detained at RADA prisons are often held for years without trial or investigation and in humiliating circumstances.
On the conditions during his period in detention, Shugaley explained: “I was in a cell with 60 inmates and in an area of no more than 25 meters.; many prisoners died before our eyes, there were no funerals or communication with their families.”
“We had only old blankets, and near us, the Mediterranean Sea, which the jailers turned its waters into a mass grave for the bodies of those who died in jail, of which many witnesses told me, and in the cell one person sleeps while the other is standing and unable to sit.”
Shugaley explained: “Another prisoner and I shared a spot; while he slept for two hours I would be standing, and then two hours would pass and he would stand while I slept. After many days we had turned into zombies.”
“They called me early one morning and took me to the Attorney General’s office, and there I met Samer who told me, ‘Maxim, I was here yesterday and if they offer you the chance to leave for another country, agree, the most important thing is to get out of here’, but actually I was being summoned for questioning.”
Shugaley continued: “At first it was not about anything in particular, the questions were empty and they gradually began to focus on the question of whether I was afraid to return to Russia, but I was already ready for this question. After staying in this place I am afraid of everything, and I’m ready to go anywhere just to leave this prison.”
“They asked me if I was ready to leave for a third country and which country did I think they would send me to; I replied that there was no doubt that it was either the United States or the UK, and I asked them what should I do because I’m not a political official, I’m am only doing research, I’m not a member of the intelligence and special services, I do not hold any position.”
“I told them I don’t know any state secrets, I will not talk on TV and accuse my country of anything. If you need any information about my visit I am ready but it is already on the Internet. They asked: Are you ready to meet the representative of this country? I told them, I’m ready. Then they told me that the meeting would take place at the end of the week, but the meeting didn’t take place,” Shugaley added.
Shugaley accused the CIA of depriving him of his liberty for a year and a half, because the Americans are the ones who supervise Mitiga private prison. He said the prison was holding “lot of of followers of the late Colonel Gaddafi, the Americans prefer the private secret prisons.”
On the research he was conducting in Libya, Shugaley explained: “I will not be able to finish it, but I can tell you that everyone is fully aware that the country is not currently independent, and so in classical understanding the state does not exist, and this means that this country is regionally fragmented.”
He added: “Orders come vertically from the top, from the control centre, and the horizontal level is not present, a governing system has not been built; there is no legislation at all, people are tired and waiting for any outside help”.
Moreover, Shugaley explained: “They are waiting to be given the opportunity to make their own decisions, elect a president, develop clear laws, and start some kind of restoration of their country. The need for such things from the people is very strong. All this must stop and we can say that America is guilty, and even Russia to some degree.”
The channel also discussed the accusations faced by Shugaley and Suifan that they were attempting to interfere in elections Libya, even though nothing connected to elections was even planned in the country. Therefore, said the report, trying to portray them as Russian intelligence officers and later as terrorists was only because Western countries who influence and control the government in Tripoli needed to provoke and invent false allegations against Russia.
The report also said that Shugaley and Suifan were forced to make false confessions on their supposed links with Russian intelligence and Tripoli authorities had offered to transfer them from Libya to Europe. Russia’s Foreign Ministry, along with its defense ministry and civil society institutions had made tremendous efforts to bring them back to their country.