By Moutaz Ahmed.
Benghazi, 11 May 2014:
The Chief of Staff has ordered the 17 February Brigade, which is . . .[restrict]technically part of the army, to move out of its headquarters in Benghazi following the killing of four protestors outside its gates early yesterday morning.
Justice Minister Salah Marghani who has been based in Benghazi this past week trying to deal with the security crisis there, announced yesterday evening at a news conference that the brigade had been given 72 hours to quit the premises and hand it over to Benghazi Joint Security Room. It would then be turned into a social facility for the city.
He said that all parties in Benghazi had agreed to the decision, including the 17 February Brigade.
He referred to those protestors who had been shot in the demonstrators as “martyrs”, saying that the right to protest peacefully and freedom of expression was guaranteed by the Constitutional Declaration of August 2011 and that nobody was allowed to stop such protests by force of arms or any other means. That was wholly “unacceptable”.
Three of the protestors died outside the gates of the brigade headquarters. A fourth, Ahmed Abdussalam, later died of his injuries
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the 17 February Brigade has called on the media and city officials to visit the headquarters to inspect it to see for themselves that there were no underground prisons and no foreign fighters in the brigade’s ranks – as rumoured, he said. Members, he declared, were all Libyans who had taken part in the revolution.
The premises was being evacuated, he said. [/restrict]