Rights group demands safe return of abducted Libyan lawmaker

Forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar are fighting the internationally recognized government over control of Tripoli. (File/AFP)
Updated 16 August 2019

Rights group demands safe return of abducted Libyan lawmaker

  • Seham Sirqiwa is a prominent critic of Khalifa Haftar
  • Her family and friends said she was taken from her home by militants affiliated with Haftar’s forces

CAIRO: Human Rights Watch is urging authorities in eastern Libya to exert “all possible efforts” to ensure the safe return of a female lawmaker abducted from her home last month by armed men.
The lawmaker, Seham Sirqiwa, is a prominent critic of Khalifa Haftar, whose forces are now fighting to take the capital from the UN-backed government in Tripoli.
The New York-based watchdog said Friday that Sergewa’s abduction “follows a well-documented pattern of violence, reprisal, and intimidation” by Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army.
Sergewa’s family and friends allege she was taken from her house in Benghazi by militiamen affiliated with Haftar’s forces. Her husband was wounded during the attack.
Libya slid into chaos after the 2011 uprising and is now split between rival authorities in the country’s east and west.


Turkey probes dozens over quake social media posts

Updated 27 January 2020

Turkey probes dozens over quake social media posts

  • Suspects accused of sharing fake images about the quake on social media
  • Death toll from Friday’s quake had reached 39 people as hopes dimmed of finding more survivors

ISTANBUL: Turkish prosecutors are investigating dozens of people for “provocative” social media messages about the deadly earthquake in eastern Turkey, reports said Monday.
The death toll from Friday’s quake in Elazig province had reached 39 people as hopes dimmed of finding more survivors amid the rubble.
The Ankara prosecutor’s office is checking 50 individuals on suspicion of “spreading fear and panic” and “insulting the Turkish people, the Turkish republic and the state institutions,” the Hurriyet daily said.
The suspects are accused of sharing fake images about the quake on social media.
Turkish authorities were winding up their rescue efforts on Monday.
Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told reporters that 24,000 tents had been provided, 1,000 container shelters were being built, and funds released to repair damaged buildings.
Thirty-five of the victims died in Elazig and four in the neighboring province of Malatya, officials said.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said 86 injured were still being treated in hospitals — 18 of them in intensive care units.