Libya’s outspoken Benghazi lawyer Hanan Al-Barassi murdered

1,011FollowersFollow

Libya’s outspoken Benghazi lawyer Hanan Al-Barassi has been murdered, Human Rights Watch said on Wednesday, calling on Eastern Libyan authorities to promptly investigate “the apparent politically motivated killing.”

Hanan Al-Barassi, an outspoken critic of violations by armed groups in eastern Libya, was shot dead in Benghazi by unidentified masked gunmen on November 10, 2020. She said that she had received numerous death threats in the days leading up to her killing.

The attackers initially attempted to kidnap Al-Barassi from a shop on Street 20 in Benghazi in the early afternoon of November 10, but ended up shooting and killing her, said a statement from the Benghazi Security Directorate, which has promised an investigation. The statement said that the gunmen fled in two unmarked cars with darkened windows. Al-Barassi had three bullet wounds resulting in serious head injuries, said a medical examiner in Benghazi who has knowledge of the incident.

“The killing of an outspoken lawyer in broad daylight in Benghazi will send chills through activists across the region,” said Hanan Salah, senior Libya researcher at Human Rights Watch. “This brutal killing smacks of a cold-blooded execution. The only way to end this cycle of violence is if authorities hold criminals to account for these terrible acts.”

Al-Barassi repeatedly said on Facebook Live that she supported Khalifa Hiftar, commander of the armed group Libyan Arab Armed Forces (LAAF), which controls Libya’s eastern region, including the city of Benghazi. She frequently appeared live on Facebook, often while driving a car, where she discussed alleged widespread corruption of members of certain armed groups and other abuses. She accused members of armed groups of assault and rape of women, later retracting some of her allegations. Al-Barassi went by the pseudonym Azouz Barqa (“Barqa’s old woman”).

During a Facebook Live appearance on the day she was killed, Al-Barassi said she would soon go public with more allegations of abuses and corruption by an armed group but did not give details. In an hour-long broadcast on November 9, Al-Barassi criticized “family rule” in Libya and alleged that relatives of Hiftar were implicated in corruption and abuse of power. In a Facebook Live appearance on November 7, she said that her daughter had survived an assassination attempt.

Al-Barassi had also publicly disclosed on her Facebook page the names and phone numbers of people she said had threatened her because of her outspoken criticism, drawing attacks and more threats.

Women human rights defenders and outspoken women face harassment, intimidation, and violence in Libya. Al-Barassi’s killing in Benghazi comes almost a year and half after the politically motivated abduction of a member of Libya’s parliament, Seham Sergewa, by armed men apparently affiliated with the LAAF from her home in Benghazi on July 17, 2019. Sergewa was an outspoken critic of Hiftar’s armed assault on Tripoli. Her whereabouts remain unknown. Salwa Bugaighis, a renowned Libyan human rights lawyer and activist, was shot dead in her home in the eastern city of Benghazi in 2014 by unidentified gunmen. The authorities did not investigate or prosecute anyone for her killing.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has a mandate to investigate war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide in Libya since 2011. A recently established UN fact-finding mission on Libya has the mandate to investigate serious violations in Libya since 2016. They should put their mandates to good use to support a credible, independent investigation into Al-Barassi’s killing.

“Armed groups in Benghazi seem to think they are invincible and immune from accountability,” Salah said. “The authorities there need to prove them wrong and ensure that they face justice for their crimes.”

Today News Africa
Today News Africahttps://todaynewsafrica.com
TODAY NEWS AFRICA is registered and headquartered in Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America. Our publication is widely read, respected and influential. By providing daily answers to questions our readers have about the people, the businesses and the continent of Africa, we are reaching a diverse and wide audience from around the world. Our readers, many of them world leaders, trust us because we are independent and truthful. Our advertisers understand the difference between news, views and ads. Contact us: contactus@todaynewsafrica.com

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Trending Now

Biden announces foreign policy and national security team, including Blinken as Secretary of State, Mayorkas as Secretary of Homeland Security and Kerry as envoy on climate

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on Monday announced key members of his foreign policy and national security team, including Antony Blinken as Secretary of State;...

U.S. calls for independent probe into massacres in Tigray region in Ethiopia

The United States government on Thursday called for an independent investigation following massacres in the Tigray region in Ethiopia.The United States said the investigation...

Trump campaign files appeal after Judge called legal claim in Pennsylvania “Frankenstein’s Monster” before dismissing it

President Donald Trump’s legal team on Sunday filed an appeal to a federal judge’s ruling that dismissed his campaign's effort to block the certification...

President-elect Joe Biden’s national security and foreign policy team praised as experienced and historic choices

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden announced key members of his national security and foreign policy team on Monday, including Antony Blinken as Secretary of State;...

Linda Thomas-Greenfield: “America is back. Multilateralism is back. Diplomacy is back.”

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who has been nominated by President-elect, Joseph R. Biden Jr., to serve as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, on...

Sex-bombing the continent: Africa’s most popular nude dancer, Zodwa Wabantu, deported from Zambia

Zodwa Wabantu, Africa's most popular nude dancer, has been deported from Zambia where she was due to perform.The government believed her lewd performance in...

Ethiopian forces set to take Tigrayan capital, as many fear mass civilian deaths

The Ethiopian military said late on Friday that government forces were set to take control of Mekelle, the regional capital of Tigray, even as...

Joe Biden will need to strengthen ties with Africa, says Navy SEAL admiral McRaven

President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. will need to "play the long game" by strengthening ties with the rest of the world, including the continent...

Pennsylvania Supreme Court allows state to complete certification of Biden win

The Supreme Court in Pennsylvania on Saturday allowed the state to complete the certification of its presidential vote won by President-elect Joseph R. Biden...

Biden announces additional COVID-19 advisory board members

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on Saturday announced new members of the Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board.The team of leading public health experts is helping...

Hundreds of thousands of civilians trapped as Ethiopian war planes bomb Mekelle, Tigray’s regional capital

Hundreds of thousands of civilians were trapped on Saturday in Mekelle, the capital of Ethiopia's northern Tigray region, which came under "heavy bombardment."Aid workers...

Trump wasted $3 million in Wisconsin recount only for Biden to gain 132 votes, President could have donated the money to food bank

President Donald Trump seems to have wasted $3 million for recounts in two counties in Wisconsin, with President-elect Joe Biden gaining more votes.The...

Ethiopian forces set to take Tigrayan capital, as many fear mass civilian deaths

The Ethiopian military said late on Friday that government forces were set to take control of Mekelle, the regional capital of Tigray, even as...

What African Union envoys discussed with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia over escalating conflict in Tigray

The African Union has released a communique detailing what its envoys discussed with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia over the raging conflict in...

Joe Biden will need to strengthen ties with Africa, says Navy SEAL admiral McRaven

President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. will need to "play the long game" by strengthening ties with the rest of the world, including the continent of Africa, William Harry McRaven, a retired United States Navy four-star admiral, said on Sunday.Speaking on "ABC This Week", Admiral McRaven, who last served as the ninth commander of the United States Special Operations Command from August 8, 2011, to August 28, 2014, under President Barack...
error: Alert: Content is protected !!
Share
Tweet
WhatsApp
Pin
Share