Tripoli, 19 December 2013:
The widow of American teacher Ronnie Smith, who was murdered in Benghazi earlier this month, has forgiven her . . .[restrict]husband’s killers in an open letter addressed to the Libyan people.
“Ronnie Smith loved the Libyan people,” Anita Smith said. “We came to Libya because we saw the suffering of the Libyan people, but also your hope, and we wanted to partner with you to build a better future.” She added that Ronnie had been a “best friend” to Libya.
Ronnie Smith, aged 33, was shot dead on 5 December while he was out jogging in Benghazi’s Digadosta district. No arrests have yet been made in connection with the murder.
Addressing the killers of her husband, Smith said: “I love you and forgive you.”
Although friends and family had voiced safety concerns about the American couple living in Benghazi, Smith said they stayed because they believed the Libyan people were worth the risk. She added that Ronnie had loved his students at Benghazi International School where he worked as a chemistry teacher.
“I hear people speaking with hate, anger and blame over Ronnie’s death, but that’s not what he would want,” she said, adding that he would want his death to be an opportunity for people to show one another love and forgiveness. [/restrict]