Libya: Imam disappeared following abduction by UN-backed government-affiliated forces


On September 10, 2017, shortly after leading the evening prayer, Imam Abdulrazaq Moftah Ali Mshireb was abducted in front of his house in Tripoli. A group of uniformed men belonging to the RADA Security Forces arrested him in front of his son, without showing a warrant or explaining the reasons behind the arrest.

Mshireb and his son were beaten by the RADA forces, who confiscated the victim’s mobile phone before threatening him with a weapon in order to force him to do as they asked and follow them to an unknown location.

The RADA Security Forces are affiliated with the officially recognised Government of National Accord (GNA), which is led by Fayez El Sarraj. The RADA usually hold their detainees without any legal oversight in a detention centre in the vicinities of the Mitiga Air Base of Tripoli.

After numerous calls by his family to the Attorney General of Tripoli, the RADA forces allowed Mshireb’s relatives a short visit on September 18, 2017 at the Mitiga Air Base detention centre. However, following this visit, the RADA forces refused to provide information on Mshireb’s fate to his family, and even refused to acknowledge that he was detained under their authority.

Faced with this denial from the security forces, his family fears that he might be at risk of ill-treatment and torture. 

“RADA’s practice of abduction and secret detention in the Mitiga Air Base detention centre has been effectively placing hundreds of individuals in a legal black hole, making them vulnerable to torture and summary executions,” said Radidja Nemar, Regional Legal Officer for North Africa and the Nile at Alkarama.

Mshireb’s case was submitted by Alkarama to the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) on November 3, 2017. Alkarama requested that the UN experts promptly intervene with the Libyan authorities to urge them to immediately inform Mshireb’s family of his fate and whereabouts and to release him.

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