By Seraj Essul and Reem Tombokti.
Tripoli, 29 April 2013:
A defiant Prime Minister, Ali Zeidan, today said that the government would not listen to opinions at gunpoint under any circumstances.
“We respect the opinions of everyone if they come through the election box,” Zeidan said, “but we won’t accept opinions voiced through weapons, even if the price is our necks and souls”. He pointed out that the revolution was to allow people to hold their own opinions and not have one ideology forced upon them.
Speaking at a GNC event focusing on establishing a culture of human rights in Libya, Zeidan was referring to the militiamen, mainly from Misrata as well as Suq Al-Juma, Tajoura and elsewhere who, since yesterday, have been surrounding the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“The militias who have put the Ministry of Foreign Affairs under siege, trying to force them to impose the Political Isolation Law, are a challenge to human rights,” Zeidan said, “because imposing your opinion on others, using force and weapons is against the principles of human rights.”
The militia are demanding that the law, which would ban thousands of Qaddafi-era officials from holding high-ranking positions, be passed. Other demands include the closure of Libyan embassies in countries which did not support the revolution.
“We are willing to be patient, because these young people don’t know what is right,” Zeidan said, “and we want to help our people, we want to help our youth.”