The continuing rise in abductions at the hands of militias highlights how the absence of the rule of law in Libya is fuelling chaos and lawlessness and leaving civilians in the country living in fear, said Amnesty International today.
Kidnappings of civilians by militias, often for ransom, have risen sharply since 2014, particularly in the west of the country, where hundreds have gone missing and abductions have become a feature of daily life.
Among the latest victims to go missing is Tripoli University professor Dr. Salem Mohamed Beitelmal, who was abducted over two weeks ago not far from his home in the area of Siyyad on the outskirts of Tripoli. His whereabouts remain unknown and his family have had no contact with him since his abduction.
Heba Morayef, North Africa Research Director at Amnesty International, said:
“The case of Salem Beitelmal illustrates the constant dangers posed to civilians by militias who have continued to intimidate the population, instilling fear and dread through a ruthless campaign of abductions. It also highlights the complicity of political and state officials who have thus far failed to put a halt to this lucrative practice by militias.
“The authorities must take all measures to end the cycle of violence and fear civilians in Libya are living under today, by effectively investigating such crimes and bringing those suspected of responsibility to justice.”
(Source: Amnesty International)