Libyans protest against Gaddafi, Hafter presidential run

2021-11-23 19:18:08
Libyans protest against Gaddafi, Hafter presidential run

Hundreds of people in Libya have protested in Tripoli against "war criminals" running in next month's presidential election, after warlord Khalifa Haftar and a son of ousted leader Muammar Gaddafi announced presidential bids.

The demonstrators stamped on posters of Haftar and Seif al-Islam Gaddafi on Friday, voicing anger over an electoral law criticised for bypassing due process.

One speaker called for "all those who have committed crimes against the Libyan people" to be disqualified from the race.

"The blood of our martyrs wasn't spilt in vain," said another.

The protests come at the end of a week that saw both Haftar and Gaddafi register to run in the December 24 election, which is part of a United Nations-led process attempting to draw a line under a decade of conflict.

Haftar, who leads forces in eastern Libya, is wanted for allegedly torturing Libyans during the recent civil war.

The registration of Gaddafi's candidacy, although expected, has shocked people in Libya and abroad for his role in the brutal crackdown of the uprising against his father’s rule.

He is still wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes committed in 2011.

Seif al-Islam was captured by fighters in the town of Zintan late in 2011, the year when a popular uprising, backed by the NATO, toppled his father after more than 40 years in power.

Muammar Gadhafi was later killed amid the ensuing fighting that would turn into a civil war.

Seif al-Islam, 49, earned a PhD at the London School of Economics, wore a traditional Libyan robe, turban and spectacles. It was the first time in years that he appeared in public.

He was released in June 2017 after more than five years of detention.


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