Fears for Anoud Senussi Grow

By Hadi Fornaji
Tripoli, 3 September 2013

Fears mounted today for the safety of Abdullah Senussi’s daughter Anoud, abducted yesterday minutes after she was released from jail. A member of Congress, who did not want to be named, told the Libya Herald this afternoon that members were afraid that she was dead.

“It will be a disaster,” said the Congress member. “Libya will be attacked by human rights organisations around the world.”

Even before the rumours spread in and around Sebha this evening that she had been murdered shortly after being seized, angry members of the Megraha tribe, of which her family are members, had blocked roads and were theatening to cut off the Man-Made River. “She is our daughter,” said Salah Abu Hazam, head of the local council in nearby Gira in Wadi Ashatti.

Anoud was kidnapped yesterday just 100 metres from the gates of Ruaimi prison in the capital’s Ain Zara suburb. She had been held for 10 months at the women’s section after she was arrested and charged with travelling to the country using a false passport. She claimed she had come to Libya to visit her father in prison. Last week, the Justice Minister Salah Marghani announced she would be released.

She was seized yesterday when five carloads of masked gunmen ambushed the three-vehicle convoy taking her to the airport to fly to Sebha, where her family lives.

The Congress member’s fears about international reaction were already being realised this evening when Amnesty International said that the abduction raised “serious concerns about her safety and the Libyan authorities’ ability to protect detainees held since the 2011 armed conflict”.  It proved that Libya could not organise fair trials for Anoud’s father and Saif Al-Islam, the statement implied.

“How can the Libyan authorities claim that they are able to deliver fair trials, and apply the law in the most prominent, politically sensitive cases, when they are manifestly unable to ensure the basic safety of detainees?”, it asked.