Hannibal Gaddafi, one of the surviving sons of the Libyan leader killed as a result of the NATO war in 2011, began a hunger strike days ago in the Lebanese prison where he has been held since 2015, without trial or charges. His medical condition is precarious, his lawyer Paul Romanos told the Associated Press, also pointing out that his client is physically exhausted by the conditions of imprisonment in a small cell.
Hannibal, who has never been involved in politics, had been granted asylum in Syria after the Nato war). But on 11 December 2015 he was taken by deception and brought to Lebanon, to Bekaa, by Ali Yacoub with his armed group. After a few weeks, the Lebanese police announced that they had found the detainee in Baalbek but instead of releasing him and arresting the jailers, they let the latter go and imprisoned him in Beirut. Since then Hannibal Gaddafi has been living in an underground cell, without even being able to see his children. He has had no trial.
But what is Hannibal Gaddafi ultimately accused of?
Personally, nothing. But to his family of origin, the Amal movement attributes the disappearance of the Shiite imam Moussa Sadr, founder of the movement, in Libya in 1978. His family believes that he is still in a prison in Libya; he would be 94. Many of Sadr’s followers are convinced that Muammar Gaddafi ordered the imam killed following a dispute over payments from Libya to Lebanese militias.
But Libya has always said that Sadr and his two companions had left Tripoli on a flight to Rome and advanced the hypothesis of a settling of scores within the Shia world.
In any case, Hannibal was three years old at the time of the events. He is unable to reveal anything and is not responsible for anything. Moreover, even under Lebanese law, a person cannot be forced to testify against his family members.
At the head of the Amal movement is the powerful speaker of the Lebanese parliament, Nabil Berri, whose influence in the chaos of Lebanese politics explains the stalemate.
The hunger strike seems to have stirred things up a bit, at least at the Middle East level. The Lebanese lawyer Ziad Obeish, in a tweet reported on the website of the International Union of Arab Media Professionals, thanks “courageous MPs who recalled the political detainee Hannibal Gaddafi” and calls for the issue to be raised in all fora, also recalling the rapid deterioration of his health and the illegality of detention without trial.
الى نوابنا الاشاوس الذين تذكروا اليوم المعتقل السياسي هنيبعل معمر القذافي.
فليتفضل هؤلاء ويطرحوا قضية هنيبعل في مجلس النواب وفي كل الساحات والميادين.
التقرير الطبي يظهر ان وضعه الصحي ذاهب بسرعة الى التدهور ولا يجوز ابقاؤه معتقلًا دون محاكمة الى اجل غير مسمى#هنيبعل_القذافي pic.twitter.com/OEa8VTynRZ
— Ziad fawzi hobeiche (@Ziadhobeiche) June 10, 2023
Earlier, in 2019, Libya’s House of Representatives (Tobruk), with its chairman Aguila Saleh Issa, had written to the Lebanese authorities declaring concern for his health and reporting that Gaddafi’s son “has never held any position in the security field” and “at the time of Musa Al-Sadr’s disappearance he was not yet two years old”. Russia had also moved in this direction.
And for its part, the presidency of the Government of National Accord (Tripoli), certainly not suspected of sympathising with the Gaddafi family, indeed an emanation of the militias that fought alongside NATO in 2011, had on 5 September 2019 likewise approached the Lebanese Minister of Justice, Alert Aziz Sahran, to ask ‘to speed up his release’, reiterating that he was indeed a small child in 1978; and that before 2011 he had never held intelligence or security roles.
Of Muammar Gaddafi’s sons, two died in the war, only one remains in Libya: Seif, a boycotted candidate in the upcoming elections. Part of the family is in Algeria.
Libyan activists are now appealing to the international community for help and hope that international human rights bodies and the UN itself will comment on this arbitrary detention.
mforinocohttps://orinocotribune.com/author/mforinoco/September 30, 2023
mforinocohttps://orinocotribune.com/author/mforinoco/September 23, 2023