Nine months after the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi, factions on both sides of the conflict continue to hunt down their enemies, especially in the loyalist stronghold of Sirte, writes Jamie Dettmer.
Standing near a villa Gaddafi may have hidden in, Nouri Alworfally, 30, has no doubt the killers are militiamen from the hardcore anti-Gaddafi town of Misrata two hours away. “They think this is Gaddafi’s city. They think anyone from Sirte is a Gaddafi person,” he says, drawing on a cigarette. He tells of young men being snatched by militiamen and taken to Misrata. “I am afraid to leave the city and go to Tripoli. You have to pass through checkpoints and the moment the Misratans see you are from Sirte, they abuse you,” he says. He denies that people in District 2 knew that Gaddafi was hiding among them last October, but he makes no pretense of his dislike of the uprising. And he’s not alone. Sirte’s turnout in last weekend’s landmark elections was one of the lowest in Libya, just 53 percent.
“Working on human rights here is very scary,” says activist Alsbaey. He too seems reluctant to talk, explaining apologetically there are dangers from both pro- and anti-Gaddafi loyalists. “There’s a security void here. There is vengeance.”
Via Quociente Cultural