Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Libya: Kidnappings on the rise

Interior Minister, Ashur Al-Shuwail admitted this week that kidnapping is becoming increasingly prevalent in the capital. Armed groups and militias, some of them part of the official security structures of the state, and most notably the Supreme Security Committee (SSC), have been indulging themselves in this practice for many months. Many of these abductions are undertaken out of revenge, with those deemed to have supported the former regime vulnerable to being hauled off at any time by unidentified armed groups to secret locations, where they are interrogated and tortured.

Others are kidnapped for money. The state clearly has little control over the practice. According to Al-Shuwail the Tripoli security directorate and the Tripoli Security

Committee carried out a joint raid this week to break into the headquarters of one of the militias operating in the capital. They were surprised to find thirty individuals unlawfully detained in its headquarters.

Meanwhile, on 2 March, residents from the Farnaj suburb of Tripoli attacked the headquarters of the Second Support Brigade, which comes under the Interior Ministry, after the death of local doctor Hussein Al-Turki. The latter seems to have been tortured and killed at the hands of the brigade because he had reportedly been trying to help a number of prisoners that it was holding to escape.

For more news and expert analysis about Libya, please see Libya Focusand Libya Politics & Security.

© 2013 Menas Associates

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