By Nancy Porsia.
Tripoli, 29 June 2013:
Today’s ceremony at Tripoli’s Abu Selim prison to mark the 17th anniversary of massacre of 1,300 inmates was abandoned at the last minute because of security fears following two days on inter-militia fighting earlier this week.
“Everything was already set up for the event” Ali Alakermi, president of the Association of Prisoners of Conscience told the Libya Herald, “even the reception for the families of the victims expected to come from around all Libya to attend the ceremony.”
Alkermi added the cancellation was made with huge regret but the safety of attendees had to come first.
The Association of the Families of Abu Selim Victims had organised commemoration ceremonies in both Tripoli and Benghazi in partnership with the Minister of Martyrs. However the Benghazi events have gone ahead as planned, starting with a meeting last night.
This morning hundreds of members of the Association of the Families of Abu Selim Victims stood in Benghazi’s Tahrir Square, holding placards demanding a proper investigation into the massacre and the trial of those suspected of being involved.
There was widespread anger that, two years since the revolution, there has still been no official probe into one of the worst excesses of the Qaddafi decades. Indeed as one demonstrator pointed out, it was a demand for justice over the Abu Selim crime that had brought the demonstrators onto the streets of 15 February 2011, in a protest which triggered the revolution. Yet two years on from the success of that revolt, the families and friends of the Abu Selim victims are still demanding answers to the very same questions.
Benghazi’s homage to the dead included an exhibition of paintings and photographs and the screening at the Cinema Elephant of nine short films about the revolution.