By Hadi Fornaji.
Tripoli, 3 February 2013:
The head of the department due to begin issuing identity cards later this week was kidnapped this morning in Tripoli.
Dr Naji Bazena, director of the National Numbers Department was taken from his office in the Ras Hassan district by a group of armed men, according to Engineer Muhanad Mohamed Hamouda, writing on his Facebook page, who said he had witnessed the kidnapping. Bazena has not yet been located and police have not established who might have seized him.
The national ID card project was initiated in 2010 by Qaddafi. The original plan was to have green ID cards, bearing a picture of the dictator, issued to everyone by the end of the year. The cards carried biometric details, including DNA and blood groups.
Not many cards had been issued by the time the project was suspended after the revolution. However, it was revived in the last months of the El-Kib government with a brand new design. The scheme had been originally come under the Ministry of the Interior but responsibility was transferred to the prime minister’s office, where it still resides.