World Condemns Libyan Rights Activist Assassination

Benghazi residents on Friday (June 27th) buried slain Libyan rights activist and lawyer Salwa Bugaighis.

After asr prayers, Benghazi women took to streets to demand an inquiry into the lawyer’s brutal killing, but an unknown group opened fire on them to disperse their rally.

Bugaighis was slain in her own home on Wednesday after returning from voting in Benghazi. She was stabbed multiple times before being shot in the head.

The only eyewitness to the murder, a security guard, died Friday. He was shot in the initial attack but reportedly recognised the killers. Justice Minister Salah al-Marghani met him and listened to his statements about the crime.

According to the guard, he took photos of the assailants outside the gate. Five men, four with masks and one with a beard, were involved in the attack, the guard said.

The victim’s husband, Benghazi local council member Essam al-Ghariani, was at home during the attack. He is missing, presumed kidnapped.

Bugaighis was “one of the most prominent defenders of women’s rights in Libya”, said 32-year-old media activist Amina al-Mansouri. “She served as the vice-chairperson of the preparatory national dialogue committee.”

Speaking to the Libyan public after the murder, Culture Minister Habib Lamine said: “In view of the tyranny of terrorism, the wall has been brought down and dialogue tables have been broken and we only have two things left: either to dig our graves, or dig trenches to defend the values of homeland and humanity.”

Amnesty International also condemned the murder.

“The shocking, brutal killing of Salwa Bugaighis robs Libyan civil society of one of its most courageous and esteemed figures. But sadly she is by no means the first activist killed during the political violence that has plagued the country since the uprising and in its aftermath,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa deputy director.

“The Libyan authorities must do everything possible to ensure that Salwa Bugaighis’ death is fully, independently and impartially investigated and that anyone responsible is held to account something the Libyan government has clearly failed to do in previous political killings,” she told CNN.

The Cyrenaica political bureau condemned Bugaighis’ assassination as a terrorist act.

“The hand of terrorism is violating sanctities and is attacking women at their homes,” political activist Mohamed Obeid commented. “It’s assassinating Salwa and is also assassinating the remaining part of manhood and pride.”

Source : Magharebia