By Sami Zaptia.
London, 29 September 2021:
UNSMIL said yesterday that it was concerned about the safety and security of Imad al-Harati, Director of the National Youth League (NYL).
A-Harati was reportedly abducted by unknown armed men from his NYL office in Tripoli on 26 September, following his call for peaceful demonstrations in support of elections on 24 December.
His whereabouts remain unknown. UNSMIL reiterated that the rights to freedom of expression and assembly are fundamental and protected under national and international law. It called for al-Harati’s immediate release and for a prompt and thorough investigation into his abduction.
Calls for his release
The National Human Rights Committee in Libya has strongly condemned the act and called on the Aldabaiba government to investigate and secure his release.
Libyan media outlets report that Harati was kidnapped when the NYL’s headquarters in the Ben Ashour district of Tripoli were stormed by masked gunmen.
The National Human Rights Committee expressed its strong condemnation of the kidnapping and enforced disappearance of activist Imad Al-Harati, denouncing the escalation of the phenomenon of arbitrary arrest and kidnapping, which represents a grave violation of human rights and the right to freedom of opinion and expression – according to the statement.
The kidnapping come hours after Al-Harati called for a sit-down demonstration in front of the High National Elections Commission’s (HNEC) headquarters, to demand that the 24 December 2021 elections be held on schedule.
The National Human Rights Committee also expressed its condemnation of the escalation of cases of infringement on freedom of opinion and expression, the right to peaceful demonstration, and obstruction of the electoral process, which threatens the political process, achieving peace, democratic and political transformation, reaching the electoral maturity and holding the elections scheduled for next December.
The National Human Rights Committee urged the competent authorities to take urgent and effective measures to reduce the danger facing activists and actors, and called for urgent action to stop these practices, violations and crimes committed against civilian activists. This, to ensure the safety and security of citizens in general and journalists, media professionals, bloggers, activists and human rights defenders in particular.