The Guardian reports: Members of an elite unit set up by the Libyan government to rein in the country’s rival militia forces have been accused of kidnapping and severely beating one of the country’s foremost surgeons.
The abduction appears further evidence that 10 months after taking over, Libya’s new interim government has failed to curb human rights abuses, and is seemingly incapable of controlling either the militias or its own security force. It comes as the country faces its first national elections later this month – a key test of whether Libya is heading towards democracy or violent secessionism.
Salem Forjani, a heart surgeon working for the health ministry, was seized on 17 May when he went to Tripoli medical centre – the city’s largest hospital – on orders of the health minister to remove the director, who was accused of links with the Gaddafi regime.
Instead, he was confronted by members of the government’s supreme security committee (SSC) waiting in the director’s office, who dragged Forjani through the hospital, beating him so badly he lost consciousness in front of horrified staff.
A fellow medic photographed Forjani being carried, his shirt off, spreadeagled, down the hospital’s ambulance ramp while an SSC soldier threatened to shoot unarmed hospital security staff giving chase. [Continue reading…]