A Libyan lawmaker who chairs the parliament’s human rights committee resigned and fled to the UK claiming his life is under threat from militias after he denounced their growing power on local television.
Hassan El Amin also criticized abuses by some militiamen against prisoners of war in Libyan jails, in a televised interview on March 5. He spoke after the country’s parliament, the General National Congress, was attacked by militiamen in Tripoli this month, causing a week-long suspension.
In an interview in London, El Amin, 53, said he received death threats from militia leaders after the broadcast, went on television on March 13 to resign and then returned to London, where he spent 28 years in exile during Muammar Qaddafi’s rule.
“It is quite conceivable that Al Amin would have been killed” and his ordeal reflects security threats faced by prominent political figures in Libya, said Anthony Skinner, head of Middle East and North Africa analysis at Maplecroft, a UK risk consultancy. “It mirrors the lack of rule of law and the fact that militias can act with impunity – a trend which is likely to persist in the medium term.”