By Justin Dorman
Impunity Watch Reporter, Middle East
TRIPOLI, Libya – Ever since Muammar Gaddafi had been overthrown, safety officials have not been safe in Benghazi, as more than a dozen have been killed. The two most recent men to feel the effects of such danger are Chief-Captain Abdel-Salam al-Mahdawi and Lieutenant-Colonel Nasser al-Magrabi.
Mahdawi was the acting head of the criminal investigation department in Benghazi. It is believed that after leaving his farm to go to work, he was abducted at gunpoint by bearded men at a traffic light on Venezia Street not far from the criminal investigation police offices.
Mahdawi was known to have “many enemies,” stated an unnamed official who claimed that Mahdawi, “had files on everyone – Gaddafi loyalists, hard-line Islamists and common criminals.”
A small group of police officers staged a demonstration outside of Benghazi’s landmark, the Tibesti Hotel, calling for Mahdawi’s release. Officers held banners asking, “Where are the men of Benghazi?”
One man’s body was found charred by hydrochloric acid in Benghazi’s Buhmeida district. Officials have not yet been able to confirm or deny whether or not the charred body is what remains of Captain Mahdawi.
Interior Minister Ashour Shwayel has promised to “search for the officer [Mahdawi] and determine the identity of the perpetrators.” Nevertheless, legal experts and police investigators have kept their distance from the unidentified body charred by hydrochloric acid for fear that they have not been granted protection from the groups they believe to be the perpetrators of the attack.
One body that was found and identified was that of Lieutenant-Colonel Nasser al-Magrabi. Magrabi was a Gaddafi era security official who was part of the internal security services in Benghazi. His dead body was found shot, on his farm somewhere in the Sidi Faraj region.
No one is certain as to who are carrying out these attacks, however, some believe the acts to be conducted by hard-line Islamists who wish to punish those officials who formerly served under Gaddafi. Magrabi’s security services were responsible for detaining thousands of Islamists and other dissidents during the time that Gaddafi’s regime was in power.
Benghazi has also become a hot spot for other extremist groups to flourish, like those militants who attacked the U.S. Consulate and killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others this past September 11th.
For further information, please see:
Gulf Today – Qadhafi-era Security Officer Killed in Libya: Officials – 5 January 2013
Saudi Gazette – Top cop Kidnapped in Benghazi – 4 January 2013
BBC – Libyan Gunmen Kidnap top Investigator in Benghazi – 3 January 2013
New York Times – Police Captain in Benghazi is Abducted – 3 January 2013