UN demands Libya’s Haftar forces to reveal fate of abducted female MP

UN demands Libya’s Haftar forces to reveal fate of abducted female MP
The UN’s Libya mission has demanded eastern Libyan authorities disclose the whereabouts of outspoken MP Serham Sergiwa, who was violently taken from her home in July.
2 min read
18 October, 2019
Serham Sergiwa gave a critical TV interview the day of her abduction [YouTube]

The United Nation's Libya mission urged authorities in the country's east on Thursday to reveal the fate of a Libyan lawmaker who was abducted in Benghazi in July.

"Three months ago, Siham Sergiwa, an elected member of the House of Representatives, was seized at night from her home in Benghazi," in eastern Libya, UNSMIL said in a statement. 

"Since her violent abduction by armed men, Ms. Sergiwa's fate remains unknown."

Sergiwa disappeared on July 17 in an attack that also allegedly saw her husband shot in the leg, shortly after she spoke critically on Al-Hadath television - which backs eastern Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar.

During the broadcast she had called for "an end to the bloodshed", referring to an offensive launched in April by Haftar's forces to wrest control of Tripoli from those loyal to a unity government.

UNMSIL said that "relevant authorities in eastern Libya have the legal responsibility to establish the fate and whereabouts of Ms. Sergiwa".

Sergiwa’s violent kidnapping “illustrates the acute dangers facing publicly active women in Libya who dare to express criticism of militias,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director at Amnesty International.

Comment: Libya's women central to its march to progress

Haftar, who controls much of eastern Libya including Benghazi, launched his bid to seize the capital Tripoli from the UN-recognised Government of National Accord on April 4.

UNSMIL said that since the start of the offensive, it had recorded an "alarming increase" enforced disappearances across Libya.

"Ms. Sergiwa's enforced disappearance sends a message of terror to elected officials over their right to freely express themselves," it said.

Libya has been mired in chaos since a NATO-backed uprising that toppled and killed dictator Moammar Gaddafi in 2011. 

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