Libya: Protests against Death Sentences for Saif and other Qaddafi Government Officials

Tuesday, a Tripoli court under the not officially recognized government of Libya in Tripoli sentenced Saif al-Islam Qaddafi, Abdulah Senussi and seven other officials of the government that was ousted in 2011 to death. Numerous others received harsh sentences. The court’s verdict prompted protests in several districts of Libya.

The verdict and death sentences for Saif Al-Islam Qaddafi, the son of the ousted and murdered former head of State Muammar Qaddafi, Abdullah Senussi, and seven other members of his ousted regime were no surprise. Also sentenced to death were; former Prime Minister Al-Baghdadi Al-Mahmoudi; the former General-Secretary of the People’s Committee Abuzeid Dourda; the head of the ousted government’s internal intelligence agency Mansour Dhou; the head of internal security, Milad Daman; assistant to Abdullah Senussi, Abdulhamid Ohida; chargé for the Tripoli Revolutionary Committees, Awidat Ghandoor Noubi; and Mundar Mukhtar Ghaniami.

Said Al-Islam Qaddafi, son of the ousted and murdered head of State Muammar Qaddafi participated in three out of 24 court sessions via video-link.

The trial against Saif al-Islam and Abdullah Senussi was carried out in absentia. Saif participated in only three out of 24 sessions via video link. The son of the ousted head of State is reportedly being held in Zintan. There has been controversy about the defendant’s access to lawyers and the right to confidential conversations with legal representatives.

Both Saif al-Islam and Abdulah Senussi are concurrently wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. Controversially, the ICC would describe the trial against Saif al-Islam Qaddaffi as fair, while the ICC maintains that he should be transferred to The Hague for prosecution. The Tripoli court sentenced the accused to death by firing squad. The verdict raises questions about the legality of a court and procedures under the not internationally recognized government in Tripoli – an artifact of the chaos the country has descended into after the foreign-backed ouster of the Libyan government in 2011. The internationally recognized government, for its part, has fled Tripoli and is resident in Tobruk.

Other sentences against defendants include life sentences for Husni Al-Wahishi, Mohamed Al-Deeb, Mabrouk Masood, Omran Furjani, Mahamed Al-Hanashi, Amer Fraraj, Radwan Al-Hamali, and Bashir Hamidan; Twelve years imprisonment for Mohamed Al-Zway, Mohamed Al-Sherif, Abdullah Abu-Kasem, Muhsen Lamooji, Jibril Kadiki, Ali Ahmeda, and Sayd Gheriani; Ten years imprisonment for Abdulhafeed Zlitni, Bu Ajeela Masood, Amar Nayed, and Mohamed Ramadan; Six years imprisonmentfor Abdulraheem Gmati, Ali Abdussalam, Abdulrauf Ahour; as well as a five years prison term for  Ali Mozogi.

nsnbc international is currently attempting to reach out to the court and the Ministry of Justice in Tripoli to procure the court documents and / or transcripts of the trial and the verdicts.

The sentences against the former government officials prompted protests and demonstrations in districts including Sebha’s Manshiya district, Brak, Qirah, Shuwairif. The three localities are dominated by the Magarha tribe, of which Senussi is a member. The tribe controls the water supply to Tripoli, leading to speculations that the tribal leaders would use the water-supply to Tripoli for political leverage. Protests against the court and the verdicts were also held in Bani Walid as well as in Sirte, even though the city is largely under the control of the self-proclaimed “Islamic State” a.k.a. Daesh, ISIS or ISIL.

The Libyan government was overthrown and Muammar Qaddafi was murdered in 2011, after a NATO-led coalition overstepped the provisions of UN Security Council Resolution 1973 (2011) that called for the enforcement of a no fly zone. Instead, the NATO-led coalition, with strong support by Qatar and Saudi Arabia as well as unofficial support from Israel, were actively supporting Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Qaeda-linked terrorist brigades. Moreover, thousands of foreign mercenaries were flown into the country, in part with direct support by the US’ CIA. Libya has since then become a springboard for the wars in Syria, Mali as well as Iraq.

Articles by: Dr. Christof Lehmann

About the author:

Dr. Christof Lehmann is the founder and editor of nsnbc. He is a psychologist and independent political consultant on conflict and conflict resolution and a wide range of other political issues. His work with traumatized victims of conflict has led him to also pursue the work as political consultant. He is a lifelong activist for peace and justice, human rights, Palestinians rights to self-determination in Palestine, and he is working on the establishment of international institutions for the prosecution of all war crimes, also those committed by privileged nations. On 28 August 2011 he started his blog nsnbc, appalled by misrepresentations of the aggression against Libya and Syria. In March 2013 he turned nsnbc into a daily, independent, international on-line newspaper. He can be contacted at nsnbc international at [email protected]

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