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The families of those killed in the Libyan revolution are banding together to protect their rights and recoup state benefits.
The relatives established the “Union of Associations of the Families of February 17th Martyrs” to link their separate groups.
Saad Abu Bakr, a member of the new union, heads the Association of Martyrs’ Families in Shahat. Magharebia met with him to ask what families think of the new Libya, for which their sons died.
What do martyrs’ families want?
The needs are almost the same for all families. They include providing full care for each martyr’s family and education for martyrs’ children, and finding job opportunities for them. Hence comes the role of these associations in facilitating these things by contacting the entities concerned and following up on relevant measures.
What have you accomplished for the relatives so far?
The union has prepared and drafted a draft law to care for their needs. It was handed over to the General National Congress (GNC), which issued law number 1 of 2014 on providing care for the families of martyrs and missing.
The law includes many articles to guarantee all the families’ material and health rights. For example, the law has raised the grant given by the Ministry of Assistance to Families of Martyrs and Missing Persons to be equal to that given to the highest rank in the Libyan armed forces, which is the rank of major general. The law also grants each martyr an honorary rank, gives his family a gold medal and priority over others in obtaining a housing unit.
As to health, we shall issue health care cards for the members of families to receive medical treatment both inside and outside Libya.
What’s your take on the security situation?
The security situation is bad in eastern and western Libya, and not a single Libyan city has escaped such a fate. The manifestations of state absence are clear there is absence of law, and the authorities are not working on building the army and police institutions through which the law can be enforced. There are hidden hands that don’t want to have army and police.
We’re just wondering about assassinations in Derna and Benghazi targeting their officers those two cities look as if they don’t have any more officers.
What kind of state do martyrs’ families want?
We took to streets during the February 17th revolution to have a state of law and justice. Unfortunately, no justice or law has been realised, and we’re still at the same place we may even be worse. We haven’t either seen any improvement in education, health and other sectors. All achievements made from time to time are made thanks to personal or community efforts… .
Are you optimistic about the future?
Abu Bakr: We’ve been through the experience of electing the GNC members. It looks that our choices were bad, and this has upset voters. Therefore, we’ll be careful to choose the best in the next parliamentary election and not to repeat our mistakes. We also welcome the drafting of a constitution through which the parliament will be able to work.
Source : Magharebia