By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 20 November 2013:
Reports that Tripoli Congresswoman Soad Sultan was briefly detained today after being discovered to be carrying a hand grenade in her handbag are true, the Congresswomen has told the Libya Herald.
The incident happened when she went to the Tripoli Local Council in Algeria Square to meet with officials, she says, explaining that she always carries a grenade to defend herself. “I receive threats on a daily basis,” she explains. Her son had even been kidnapped to get at her, she adds.
When she arrived at the council building, she says, she handed the grenade to security staff telling them what it was but that she was authorised to carry a weapon.
The next thing that happened, she told this paper, was that Tripoli Council Leader Sadat Elbadri phoned the security authorities and men from Tripoli Security Directorate quickly came to investigate.
Given reports of attempts to assassinate him, he was perhaps understandably concerned.
According to the Council Facebook page, ”she walked through the metal detector and put her handbag in the scanning machine. The siren went off, detecting explosive. Security asked the congresswoman about it and she replied it was a grenade that she carries for personal protection. She left the grenade with the security official and went in for her meeting.
“Security in charge called the concerned security authorities. Police directorate sent the Criminal Investigation Department to the scene.”
There was no investigation, however. She says she told them they had no right to investigate because she was a member of Congress. This was apparently accepted.
She then insisted she be given back her grenade. It was. She left.
Congresswomen Sultan was elected as a National Forces Alliance member for Tripoli but became an independent, she says, after the Alliance withdrew from Congress.