- The murder of journalist Dhaif al-Ghazzal, whose mutilated body was found on 2 June, is causing more speculations as Libya's police investigators refuse to provide details. The journalist, who was denouncing corruption in Libya, had been arrested by state security agents shortly before he was killed, according to human rights groups.
Amnesty International yesterday called on the Libyan government to provide details of the official inquiry that it says is being held into the murder of Mr al-Ghazzal, whose dead body was found on 2 June in a suburb of Benghazi. His hands were reportedly tied behind his back, his fingers had been cut off, he had bruises and stab wounds to the body, and he had been shot in the head.
The human rights group expressed its concerns at reports that Mr al-Ghazzal was arrested in Benghazi on 21 May by two men who identified themselves as members of Libya's Internal Security Agency. Before his arrest he had apparently received anonymous death threats which he believed were a result of his writings about corruption and the need for political reform.
Libyan authorities, however, have denied that he was detained by security officials and say that there was no official involvement in his death. They have announced that several people have been held for questioning about Mr al-Ghazzal's death but as yet, Amnesty did not know of any charges being brought against them.
Mr al-Gazzal formerly was a journalist working for 'al-Zahf al-akhdar' ('The Green March'), an official newspaper of the Revolutionary Committees, for four years. He resigned his post on 26 March, reportedly because of his concern about corruption.
Since then, he continued to write about and denounce corruption and promote the cause of political reform in writings he contributed to a news website called 'Libya Jeel' (libyajeel.com). He is reported to have received a number of anonymous death threats as a result of these writings.
Libyan authorities have however decided to open an investigation into the killing of Mr al-Ghazzal - a decision that was welcomed by Amnesty yesterday. The group was hoping it would receive further information on the outcome of this investigation in the near future.
The human rights activists sought assurances from Libyan authorities that the investigation into the killing of Mr al-Gazzal was "conducted by an independent and impartial body and for its results to be made public." They also called for those responsible for the killing to be brought to justice, "irrespective of whether or not they were state officials."
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