Libya prosecutors to try Gaddafi son, spy chief for murder

[JURIST] Saif al-Islam Gaddafi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], the son of deposed leader Muammar Gaddafi [BBC obituary; JURIST news archive] was charged on Tuesday with murder, relating to the 2011 Libya conflict [JURIST backgrounder], a Libyan prosecutor said. Prosecutors also charged former intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] with murder. If convicted, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment for his alleged role in murdering civilians during the 2011 uprising. According to prosecutors, al-Senussi confessed to collaborating to produce car bombs [AP report] in Benghazi during the uprising. The trial for Gaddafi and al-Senussi is scheduled to begin September 19.

Al-Senussi and Saif al-Islam Gaddafi also face charges of crimes against humanity before the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website]. In July the ICC rejected Libya’s request [JURIST report] to suspend the order to hand over Saif al-Islam Gaddafi. In June Saif al-Islam Gaddafi’s lawyer accused Libyan officials [JURIST report] of defying the ICC by announcing that Saif al-Islam’s trial would begin in August. In February the ICC ordered Libya to extradite al-Senussi [JURIST report] to face charges of crimes against humanity for his role in the 2011 uprising.


Clashes between Wershefana and Zawia end

By Houda Mzioudet.

Tripoli, 25 August 2013:

Clashes between Zawia and the Wershefana tribe ended yesterday as the Prime Minister sent in army units to separate the two sides and called on them to enter into dialogue. About 20 anti-aircraft cars were later seen heading to Zawia yesterday. The situation still remains tense, however, according to residents.

Residents in Zawia confirmed to the Libya Herald that shooting had stopped after continuing violence on Friday night. The clashes in Maya, near Zawia had been particularly violent, with heavy weaponry being used. “We could not sleep because of it,” one resident said.

In a statement issued yesterday by the Prime Minister’s office, Ali Zeidan said he deplored the unfortunate events and called for an end to the fighting and a dialogue between the sides. He also condemned the excessive use of weapons by people who had no authority to use them, being neither the army nor the police.

In his statement, Zeidan said he had been in a session until 3am yesterday morning with the President of Congres Nuri Abu Sahmain, the Minister of Defence, Abdullah Al-Thinni, and other security officials and were in constant contact with both sides. He said that he had ordered forces to the area. Zeidan called upon both sides to end the fighting.

Zeidan also called on all Libyans to hand in weapons and rid the country of illegal arms. They were a source of danger, with a succession of armed robberies. He said his call extended to brigades as well.

Meanwhile, an oil tanker driver who asked to remain anonymous, told the Libya Herald that drivers had been staging a sit-in at Zawia oil refinery during the last couple of days and had refused to work because of the security situation resulting from the clashes. However, another source at the refinery said today that the situation was under control following the arrival of Libyan military forces sent on the Prime Minister’s orders.

The Ministry of Defence is expected to make a statement on the situation tomorrow.

With additional reporting by Aimen Eljali and Seraj Essul

Libya Herald

مسؤولون (الولايات المتحدة) تجنب العقوبات الخاصة على بنغازي هجوم

هذا التقرير من محطة أمريكية تشير
من أربعة مسؤولين لم يتم مسؤولة
أي مساءلة عقد
في بنغازي الحلقة

An excellent article in english

Editor at Xinhua english news

Libya’s desert gazelles under threat of extinction

By Seraj Essul and Reem Tombokti

photographer unknown

photographer unknown

Tripoli, 10 August 2013:

Two years of unregulated hunting in the south of the country has left three types of Libyan gazelle on the verge of extinction.

“We had a wealth of these gazelles, but sadly their numbers have gone down and they are now facing extinction,” the chairman of the Al-Haya Association for the Protection of Wildlife, Ibraheem Al-Gahwajy, told the Libya Herald.

The problem is most acute in the south of the country, near the borders of Chad and Algeria, the main habitat for ‘Rhim’ and ‘Dorcas’ gazelles. The ‘Oueddan’ gazelle, which inhabits the Haruj mountains of central Libya, is also said to be facing exteniction.

For many years, under the old regime, the hunting of gazelles was banned. However, since the revolution, the practice has taken off as a sport and is, at present, completely unregulated.

“It is a desire to murder, rather than a hunting hobby,” Al-Haya’s president Saleh Nuwaiji said. The proliferation of weapons and the increasing ownership of four-wheel drive vehicles were, he said, partly responsible for the rise in popularity of gazelle-hunting. He also pointed the finger of blame at a lack of legislation regulating the sport, as well as local ignorance about breeding seasons, which led to indiscriminate killings even of young animals.

The full severity of the problem has only recently come to light, after videos appeared on YouTube showing people hunting at sites across the Libyan desert.

With numbers dwindling to worrying levels at the hands of bloodthirsty hunters, Libyan environmental activists are now calling for an end to what they say is an “eradication campaigns against gazelles.” The activists are asking the Ministry of Agriculture and Environment, as well as civil society organisations, to take responsibility for the country’s wildlife and fight gazelle poaching.

Al-Haya has also emphasised the important role that nature reserves could have in protecting the gazelles. “Nature Reserves need to be reassessed because so far they haven’t provided any protection to this species,” said Ghawajy.

There is one area that would, apparently, be particularly suitable. It features rugged terrain, which has access points only through three valleys which, according to Nuwaiji, would be relatively simple to turn into a nature reserve that could help save the gazelles from extinction. He added that the reserve could initially be populated by privately-owned gazelles of which, he said, there are around 70 in the country.

“Our hopes are big and we know this will take time,” Ghawajy said. Until the government takes action, the Al-Haya Association continues to raise awareness of the problem by giving public lectures across the country.

Libya Herald

Libyans freed in Tunisia for Eid

Tunis, 8 August 2013:

Tunisia has released 21 convicted Libyan prisoners. They were among 343 prisoners pardoned by Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki to mark Eid Al-Fitr, two-thirds of whom had less than three months of their sentebnces left to serve. A further 981 prisoners are reported by the Tunisian news agency TAP to had their sentences reduced by Marzouki, but it is now known if there are any Libyans among them.

The Libyan Consul-General in Tunis, Mohammed Ferjani, was quoted by the Libyan new agency LANA as saying that the 23 were released as a result of the efforts of the Libyan diplomats in Tunisia.

The freed Libyans have not been named nor their crimes announced. However, most, if not all, are thought to have been serving time for drugs offences. Most Libyans in jail in Tunisia are said to have been drugs dealers.

According to the Tunisian Minister of Justice, Nadhir Ben Ammou, none of those released – Libyans or Tunisians – were convicted terrorists.

This is the sixth time that Libyans have been included in a Tunisian presidential general amnesty.  In March 23 Libyans were freed on the occasion of Tunisian Independence Day.

Libya Herald

Price hikes, security top Ramadan worries in Libya

By Essam Mohamed


Ramadan has a different flavour this year in Libya. Security concerns are growing as fast as the price of milk, meat and other staples.

Economy Minister Mustafa Abu Fanas tried to pre-empt the price hikes by saying that the country had 6-month supplies of certain commodities. ”We’re always following up on stocks to ensure we have enough,” Abu Fanas added.

However, Jalal al-Zatrini, owner of a big food supermarket in Tripoli, said prices changed one week before Ramadan, and milk and its derivatives went up by a quarter dinar.


“The problem is that markets are very crowded because of families’ failure to get their needs well before Ramadan; most families get them at the end of Shaaban although they can get some before that,” said Nahla Bin Mahmoud, a 40-year-old housewife.

“These things aren’t affected by anything except employees waiting for their salaries,” she said.

The increase in the price of meat has also been noticeable. The economy minister attributed this to attacks on a number of farms during the revolution, the death of livestock because of a dependency on foreign labourers who left the country, and also because of Libya’s dependency on importing large quantities of sheep and camels, which stopped.

“We have a plan as of now for Eid al-Adha to provide up to 1 million head of sheep, and the Cabinet has approved the Ministry of Economy’s plan in this regard,” Abu Fanas said.

Kamal Adin al-Maslati, 35, noted that prices for meat had gone up “by two dinars and more”.

“It’s difficult to control price hikes these days, due to the spread of arms and inability of control agencies, municipal guards and judicial officers to follow up on prices or do their jobs seriously without fear because they lack resources,” he told Magharebia.

“I think that it’ll take some time before prices stabilise and the army and police are activated,” he added.

“The biggest thing worrying me is what’s happening in Benghazi, which I hope will be stabilised now that the special operations troops have been deployed,” said Youssef al-Jebali, a 62-year-old retiree.

“I hope they will put an end to security breaches so people can live the joy of Eid and life go on. I also hope that the government will declare a state of emergency during Eid and be cautious,” he said.

Laila Salem a 35-year-old Tripoli resident, said: “We are worried but it will not stop us from celebrating Eid.”

“What bothers us are the power outages and the unknown that could hit us due to the absence of the police and the army,” added Khalifa al-Mahmoudi a clothing store owner

Still, he said, sales were good.


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Saif al-Islam Gaddafi’s lawyer calls for UK intervention over execution fears

8 August 2013

Chris Stephen in Tripoli

William Hague criticised by UK barrister for failing to back ICC ruling ordering Libya to hand over dictator’s son to Hague court

The British lawyer of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi has called on the UK to intervene on his client’s behalf amid fears that the son of the former Libyan dictator will be sentenced to death in a trial expected later in August.

(c) 2013 Guardian News & Media Ltd

DOJ files first criminal charges in attack on US diplomatic mission in Libya

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Endia Vereen at 11:44 AM ET

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] on Tuesday filed criminal charges in the deadly attack on the US diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya. The sealed complaint was filed in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington [official website] against an unspecified number of individuals. The charges are the first filed in connection with the September 2012 attack [Libya Herald report] on the US embassy and the death of US Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. An anonymous official said that those charged included Ahmed Abu Khattala, the head of the Libyan militia group, Ansar Al-Sharia, which has also been linked to the raid. The group agreed to disband [Libya Herald report] and four of its members were arrested after the attacks under suspicion of being involved in the raid.

Republicans in Congress have condemned the Obama administration’s handling of the matter, criticizing the level of embassy security and questioning the talking points provided to UN Ambassador Susan Rice for her public explanation of the attack. Conservatives have suggested that the White House tried to play down the incident to minimize its effect on the president’s campaign. DOJ spokesman Andrew Ames commented that “the department’s investigation is ongoing. It has been, and remains, a top priority.”