42 Years of Oppression 32 Inteviews

Human rights abuses in Libya under Gaddafi

A collection of over thirty personal accounts of human rights abuses suffered during the Gaddafi era in Libya.
Human rights abuses were rife in Libya during the 42 years that preceded the 2011 revolution that unseated Muammar Gaddafi. The revolution itself also witnessed abuses at the hands of people from both sides of the conflict. In order to ensure that such disregard for human rights prevalent throughout Gaddafi’s regime does not continue, victims of Gaddafi-era abuses need to feel heard, their anguish recognised, their calls for justice acknowledged, and their understanding of human rights strengthened.

Saleh Quosmy

Saleh Amr Quosmy was 31 years old when he was imprisoned. His three daughters were ten years old, three years old and forty days old....

Abdelhakim Taweel

Abdelhakim Amer Taweel is a nuclear engineer born, raised and based in Tripoli. His father owned a piece of land in Tripoli measuring approximately one...

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Jamal Abdelmotaleb

Jamal Abdelmotaleb was born in 1956 in the town of Bani Walid. His family moved to the capital when he was a youngster, and he...

Maayouf Halasa

Maayouf Massoud Halasa is from the town of Kabaw in the Nafusa Mountains in the west of Libya. He was a graduate of law and...

Dheiba Diaf Zirti

Dheiba Diaf is the widow of Othman Ali Zirti, with whom she had ten children. Zirti was born in 1934 in the area of Tripoli...

Amina Jornazi

Amina Faytouri Jornazi, known to her friends as Mona, opened her home to a young fighter from Derna named Saleh Moadib. Moadib was a fighter...

Faisal Oraygeeb

Faisal Moftah Oraygeeb was on holiday in Tripoli during Gaddafi’s coup of 1969. He had expected to return to the Choueifat boarding school in Lebanon...

Wafia Gantary

Wafia Hassan Gantary and her husband Abdelsalam Abunaama watched the revolution of 2011 unfold from their home, discouraging their seven sons and three daughters from...

Mahmood Abu Shkewa

Mahmood Abdelsalam Abu Shkewa is a sportsman, a boxer, a champion. He was born in Libya and represented his county in various title matches. “In...

Salah Houni

Salah Mohamad Houni was first imprisoned in 1984 for listening to the radio. “I became curious after the NFSL raid on Bab al-Azizia and wanted...

Khadija Omaymi

Khadija Omaymi works as a producer at Libya TV where she makes uncensored programmes about life and people in Libya. During the decade prior to...

Majda Sahli

In January of 1976, Majda Ali Sahli was a third year math student at Tripoli University. Students at the university of Benghazi, where she was...

Ibrahim Kadiki

Ibrahim Abdulhamid Kadiki was a newly married man when, in 1986, he was ordered to join the Libyan forces fighting in Chad or have his...

Salah Haddar

In the 1980s, Gaddafi’s regime was taking large areas of unused land and splitting it up to distribute as part of what they called a...

Moftah Sharef

Moftah Hamad Sharef studied at the Italian air college between 1960 and 1964. He returned to Libya to join its air force and during the...

Fathi Terbil

Fathi Othman Terbil is a Libyan lawyer, the son of an ice cream maker, and among Time magazine’s top 100 influential people of 2011. His...

Najat Kikhia

When Najat Rasheed Kikhia’s brother Mansour resigned form his post as Libyan ambassador to the UN in 1980, the whole family bore the brunt of...

Salim Kadiki

Salim Moussa Issa Kadiki works as a regulator of schools in Benghazi. He was a high school student when on 4 January 1976 students from...

Najla Doughman

Najla Abdelmouled Doughman is an ophthalmologist living in Benghazi. Her father became dean of the University of Libya in 1967 and when the coup of...

Ali Akermi

Ali Akermi was an educated man with a good job at an Italian oil company in 1973. He had moved to Libya from Tunisia, his...

Saleh

Saleh* owned a shop in Tripoli’s famous Souq Tholatha before the government knocked it down without warning in 2009. “Forty thousand families benefited from that...

Abubaker Shareef

Abubaker Ali Shareef was a 22-year-old student of law at Benghazi University when he was first arrested. “I was part of the student movement in...

Abdelkader Tholthy

Abdelkader Ahmad Tholthy was born in November 1986. His mother, Widad, was three months pregnant with him when his father, Ahmad Tholthy, was imprisoned. “We...

Mabrouka Kedo

Mabrouka Mohamad Kedo had eight children with her husband Mustafa Bin Omran when, on 17 January 1984, he was taken in by government forces. “Government...

Bashir Jarbou

Bashir Jarbou was first brought in for questioning in 1973 when he was 17 years old. Government representatives had visited his school to talk about...

Ilham Dabboub

Nursery head Ilham Dabboub had a difficult childhood. She was three years old when her father, Omar Ali Dabboub, was first imprisoned in 1973. “He...

Ausama Shwehdy

Ausama Ali Shwehdy, better known as Sami, was in his first year studying business administration when, in January 1976, a student was killed by Gaddafi’s...

Jamila Fallag

“What is the difference between Gaddafi and the Italians?” Jamila Mohamad Fallag asked her father as a young teenager when in 1977 Gaddafi publically hanged...

Youssef bin Harez

Youssef Ali Bin Harez was at the military academy in 1986 when he and a number of his fellow students were told that they would...

Jamal Basheer

Jamal Saleh Basheer was born in 1962 in the Souq Jomaa district of Tripoli and raised by parents who had never been employees of the...

Abubaker Ghiryani

Abubaker Mohamed Ghiryani was arrested on a Monday morning in 1997. “It was just before three in the morning when eight cars surrounded my home...