• Urgent Action

Urgent Action: No Contact With Abducted Politician for Months (Libya: UA 138.19)

November 1, 2019

On 17 July 2019, Libyan parliamentarian and prominent women’s rights defender Siham Sergiwa was brutally abducted from her home in Benghazi by armed gunmen, after publicly criticizing the self-proclaimed Libyan National Army’s military campaign to seize Tripoli. No contact has been made with her since her abduction more than three months ago, raising grave fears that she is at risk of torture or other forms of ill-treatment.

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General Khalifa Haftar Head of the Libyan National Army, Email: [email protected]
Ambassador Wafa Bughaighis Embassy of Libya 1460 Dahlia Street NW Washington, DC 20012 Phone: 202 944-9601 | Fax: 202 944-9606 Email: [email protected] Facebook: @libyainDC Salutation: Dear Ambassador

Dear General Khalifa Haftar, I am writing to express my grave concern for Libyan parliamentarian Siham Sergiwa, who was abducted by armed gunmen in a night-time raid on her home on 17 July 2019. There has been no news of her whereabouts or condition since then. Hours after Siham Sergiwa had given a TV interview criticizing the offensive of the Libyan National Army (LNA) to capture Tripoli, dozens of masked gunmen wearing army attire stormed her home and seized her at around 2 am on 17 July. Witness testimony indicates the attackers were affiliated with the LNA. During the raid, Siham’s husband was shot in the leg and her 16-year-old son was badly beaten. They have since been released from the hospital. According to one of Siham’s family members, members of Parliament have been in contact with Haftar’s guards, who say that Siham is being held in al-Rajma prison in Benghazi. Despite the prison being only 28 km from her home, her family has not been able to make any contact with her at all. “It is a catastrophe for the family,” said her brother, who describes Siham as “a sincerely nice human being” who “believes in a united Libya and wants to protect all Libyans from war”. As previous incidents of abductions by the LNA have sometimes resulted in the torture or death of the missing person, there are serious fears for Siham Sergiwa’s wellbeing. Therefore, I urgently call on you to ensure Siham Sergiwa’s immediate and unconditional release, and pending her release, reveal her fate and whereabouts and ensure she is protected from all forms of torture and other ill-treatment. Yours sincerely, ADDITIONAL RESOURCES