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Libyans Demand Lebanon Release Hannibal Gaddafi

Libyans Demand Lebanon Release Hannibal Gaddafi

Friday, 14 August, 2020 - 12:15
Hannibal Gaddafi. (EPA

Libyan and Tunisian activists said that they have urged international and African organizations to act immediately to release Hannibal al-Gaddafi, son of late President Moammar Gaddafi, who has been detained in Lebanon for four years.

Hannibal is being held “on charges of concealing information about the disappearance of the founder of the Supreme Islamic Shiite Council, Imam Musa al-Sadr, during his visit to Libya in August 1978, at the invitation of his father, Moammar Gaddafi."

"The Arab League for Hannibal" said Thursday that it handed Human Rights Watch a memorandum regarding Hannibal and all prisoners and detainees of the former regime. It added that it had dispatched a delegation to Tunisia earlier this week to hand the African Union Commission, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya and human rights and humanitarian missions a memorandum regarding "the imprisonment of Hannibal Gaddafi, and the other figures symbols of the former regime who had been arrested wrongfully, oppressively and unjustly."

Russia had intervened to demand Hannibal’s release amid other intensified efforts to resolve the issue and allow him to rejoin his Lebanese wife Aline Skaff and three children who used to live with him Damascus where he was kidnapped and taken to Lebanon.

A source close to Gaddafi's family was puzzled by what he called “improvisations” of laws in Lebanon. He told Asharq al-Awsat that investigation authorities there “did not provide any evidence of Hannibal’s involvement in the Sadr case, and it became clear to them that he was a young child at the time, yet they insist on keeping him prisoner. He demanded his immediate release.

The delegation sent to Tunisia was headed by Bechir Essid, the head of the defense of Hannibal and the Libyan detainees. The League pointed out that the concerned organizations "showed great understanding of what was in the memo”.

Hannibal’s defense team stressed that "no crime under the category of concealment of information could be validated against him, given that he was less than two-years-old. It revealed that Hannibal first learned of the crime in 1997 while he was on vacation in Morocco.

Besides Hannibal, who was arrested in Lebanon, his brother Al-Saadi is still being held in the Libyan capital, Tripoli. The Gaddafi family had previously threatened to file lawsuits, locally and internationally, demanding the release of their son. It held the “concerned authorities” that are detaining him responsible for his safety, charging that he has been "tortured and denied medical treatment.”

In April 2018, a court in Tripoli acquitted Al-Saadi of the charge of killing player and coach of the Al-Ittihad football team, Bashir Al-Rayani. Despite the verdict, he remains in al-Hadba prison, despite pledges from Tripoli authorities that he will be released.

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