By Ashraf Abdul Wahab.
Tripoli, 2 March 2013:
The government has reacted quickly to try and defuse tension in Tripoli’s Suq Al-Juma and . . .[restrict]Ain Zara districts following the arrest and subsequent death in detention of a pharmacy owner. Yesterday evening, after fighting in Ain Zara during which the head of a support unit alleged to be responsible for the death of Dr Hassan Triki was captured, Deputy Interior Minister Omar Khadrawi issued an order disbanding the unit and transferring its members to other companies.
Triki’s family and friends alleged that the owner of the Zahrawi Pharmacy and Medical Laboratory, located near the Fornaj roundabout, died after being tortured and beaten by members of the Second Support Unit. It was supposedly commanded by an Adnan Shibani, reportedly nicknamed “As-Sarookh” (the rocket).
Pictures of the badly bruised body of a man purported to be Dr Triki have been circulating on the internet.
It is said that Triki, who is said to have worked as a doctor with the unit, attempted to smuggle a prisoner out of the company’s headquarters in Ain Zara.
Following his death, family and friends attacked the unit’s headquarters and seized the commander and others accused of torturing Triki to death. They are now said to have been handed over to military police.
The army has since secured the unit’s weapons in Ain Zara. The area is today reported quiet. However, the Interior Ministry’s decision to transfer unit members to other companies is being widely criticised.
People spoken to by the Libya Herald have expressed their dissatisfaction with the decision. They said it meant that those accused of committing criminal offences were not being brought to justice but instead were being allowed to continue working in security as if nothing had happened.
In a statement today, Saturday, published by the Libyan news agency LANA, the Interior Ministry confirmed it was holding those alleged to be responsible for torture and murder of Triki and that prosecutors would pursue the investigation of the case. No one was above the law, it said.
As well as condemning torture and murder, it also condemned the attack on the unit’s headquarters and the arrest of any citizen by non-competent authorities. It called on citizens to leave the law to the government agencies concerned and said that anyone who breaks the law by attacking state buildings or closing roads and obstructing traffic will themselves be punished by the law.