Sun, Aug 24, 2014 - Page 6 News List

Public execution shows lawlessness in Libya: Amnesty

AFP, TRIPOLI

An Islamist armed group carried out a videotaped execution of an Egyptian man in a soccer stadium in Libya, in what Amnesty International said on Friday highlighted the country’s descent into lawlessness.

The video of the execution in the eastern city of Derna was posted on social media Web sites, including YouTube.

Amnesty International said it was carried out on Tuesday, apparently by an extremist militant group, the Shura Council of Islamic Youth, in front of a crowd seated in the stadium.

“This unlawful killing realizes the greatest fears of ordinary Libyans, who in parts of the country find themselves caught between ruthless armed groups and a failed state,” Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui said.

“Such acts can only lead to further human rights abuses in Derna, where residents have no recourse to state institutions and therefore no means to seek justice or effective protection from abuses,” she added.

“The Libyan authorities, with the support of the international community, must urgently address the breakdown of law and order that has persisted in Derna and elsewhere following the end of [former Libyan leader] Colonel [Muammar] Qaddafi’s rule,” she said.

In the video, the Egyptian, named as Mohamed Ahmed Mohamed, is brought into the stadium blindfolded on a truck.

He is forced to kneel and a statement is read out accusing him of killing a Libyan, Amnesty said.

A gun is then passed to an unmasked man wearing plainclothes, believed to be the brother of the dead Libyan, who then shoots the Egyptian from behind.

Since the fall of long-time leader Qaddafi in a NATO-backed 2011 uprising, interim authorities have failed to establish order and security in a country prone to anarchy and deadly violence.

They have been unable to restrain a large number of militias formed by ex-rebels who formerly fought Qaddafi and who still hold sway across parts of Libya.

Since the middle of last month, Libya has been rocked by fierce and deadly fighting between militias that has prompted an exodus of foreign nationals from the oil-rich North African country.

Amnesty said armed Islamists in Derna “appear to have taken advantage of the breakdown of the rule of law to assert their control, in an apparent attempt to enforce their own interpretation” of Islamic sharia laws.

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