By Maha Ellawati.
Benghazi, 23 February 2013:
The Interior Minister, Ashour Shuwail, has appointed Brigadier Ali Mansour Ferjani as head of the police in Benghazi in place of Colonel Mustafa Raqiq, whom he dismissed yesterday. Raqiq’s dismissal had been demanded by local police who had been blockading the city’s Directorate of National Security with a sit-in.
Raqiq had been appointed on 23 November in the wake of the assassination on 21 November of the then head of police, Colonel Faraj Drissi. However, he was not the government’s first choice as replacement. It initially appointed Colonel Saleheddin Awad Daghman but he was immediately rejected by the police.
The police said yesterday that Raqiq was not up to the task of ensuring security and stability in Benghazi which has seen a string of assassinations and attempted assassinations of senior security officials in the past year.
In addition to the dismissal of Raqiq, the police protestors have demanded that the Penal Code be brought into line with Sharia law. Other demands include better healthcare provisions for themselves and their families, higher salaries, the establishment of a Police Council in the city on the same lines as its Military Council, LD 100,000 to be paid to the families of martyrs and treatment for wounded revolutionaries outside the country.
They also called for the answers in the investigation into the killing of Drissi and information on the fate of Benghazi’s CID chief Abdulsalam Al-Mihdawi who was abducted on 2 January and has not been heard of since.
The protestors had insisted that they would not leave until their demands were met.