UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Amnesty International on Friday expressed “growing” fears for the safety of Libyan lawmaker Siham Sargewa, who was kidnapped a month ago from her home near Benghazi after demanding a “halt to bloodshed” in fighting between the forces of Field Marshal Khalifa Hifter. And the forces of the Accord government.
“This appalling kidnapping […] highlights the danger faced by women in public life in Libya who dare to criticize militias,” said Magdalena Magrabi, deputy director of the Middle East and North Africa division of the organization.
“Concerns about her safety are growing every day.”
According to the Amnesty statement, the MP “appears to have been subjected to this attack as punishment for her peaceful expression of her views and criticism of the Libyan National Army,” the name given by the forces of Field Marshal Hifter herself.
Witnesses said the gunmen who kidnapped the MP and assaulted her husband belonged to Hifter’s forces.
The statement pointed out that the kidnappers left behind a slogan he painted black on one of the columns of the house of the deputy says “the army is a red line,” noting that one witness said he saw the gunmen arriving in cars that read “military police.”
The security services in Benghazi did not give any information about the fate of Sargewa, who was kidnapped on July 17, the day after she demanded through the channel “Libya event” pro-Haftar, to stop the fighting between the latter’s forces and the government of reconciliation in the south of the capital.
On 18 July, the UN Mission in Libya called for an investigation into “the attack on the house and the enforced disappearance of Ms. Sargewa and to reveal her whereabouts (…) and release her immediately”.
The elected House of Representatives is located in the eastern Libyan city of Tobruk, under the control of Field Marshal Hifter.
In early May, 42 deputies announced their boycott of parliament because of their support for Hifter’s attack on Tripoli on 4 April. These deputies settled in Tripoli where they announced the establishment of a parallel parliament.
Since April 4, Hifter’s forces have been pursuing an offensive to control Tripoli, where the UN-backed government of national reconciliation is based.
Libya has plunged into anarchy since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in 2011, and the crisis worsened as Hifter began a military operation to control Tripoli, the seat of the Wefaq government.
After a rapid advance, Hifter’s forces stumbled upon the gates of Tripoli in the face of forces loyal to the Wefaq government, which was dealt a sudden blow to the city of Gharyan.
Since the outbreak of fighting, at least 1,100 people have been killed and more than 4,000 wounded, with more than 100,000 people displaced, according to UN agencies.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for VOP from different countries around the world – edited and published by VOP staff in our newsroom.
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