UNSMIL reiterates call for investigation into Benghazi disappearance of HoR member Sergawa

By Sami Zaptia.

London, 7 August 2019:

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) said in a statement yesterday that it was ”deeply concerned ”at the ”continued enforced disappearance” of House of Representatives member Siham Sergawa.

it said that Sergawa was ”brutally abducted” from her home in Benghazi on 17 July by a unit of gunmen who injured her relative and husband during the abduction.

It noted that the recent announcement by an official of the relevant authorities in eastern Libya stating that “an unknown group of terrorists may have infiltrated Benghazi and kidnapped Sergewa,” does not convey any reassurance about the wellbeing and the whereabouts of Sergawa. It reiterated its call on these authorities to thoroughly investigate the attack on Sergewa’s residence, her enforced disappearance, and to disclose her whereabouts.

UNSMIL said that it was highly concerned about the safety and security of Sergewa and stressed that the relevant (eastern Libyan) authorities are responsible for the safety and security of the people under their territorial control including in this case of prolonged enforced disappearance

It reminded that abduction and enforced disappearance, based on political views or affiliations, constitute a serious violation of international humanitarian and human rights law.

It said that this case has had a chilling impact on the work of women activists in Libya. UNSMIL stressed that silencing the voices of women in decision-making positions will not be tolerated and reiterated its strong commitment to support the crucial role Libyan women play in peace-making and peacebuilding and their full participation and involvement in the country’s political life and decision-making.

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