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UA 138/19
Aktiv seit 1. November 2019 | Noch 25 Tage Laufzeit

No contact with abducted politician for months

AI-Index: MDE 19/1263/2019

On 17 July 2019, Libyan parliamentarian and prominent woman’s rights defender Siham Sergiwa was brutally abducted from her home in Benghazi by armed gunmen, after publicly criticising the self-proclaimed Libyan National Army’s military campaign to seize Tripoli. No contact has been made with her since her abduction more than three months ago, raising grave fears that she is at risk of torture or other forms of ill-treatment.


Siham Sergiwa is member of the Libyan Parliament who has been vocal on issues of women’s rights as well as critical of General Haftar, head of the self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA). Siham Sergiwa appears to have come under attack as punishment for peacefully expressing her opinions and criticising the LNA’s offensive on Tripoli.

She is the latest in a series of Libyan women who have been targeted with assassination and attempted killings, abduction, physical assault or sexual violence as well as death threats, harassment, smear campaigns on social media and other forms of intimidation since 2014.

At least three female activists and politicians have been assassinated since 2014 in connection with their work; Women who do not adhere to social norms or challenge gender stereotypes are particular targets of such crimes.

Take action

  • Write an appeal in your own words or use the model letter below.
  • Please take action before 13 December 2019.
  • Preferred language: Arabic and English. You can also write in your own language.

Model letter

Dear General Khalifa Haftar,

I am writing to express my grave concern for Libyan parliamentarian Siham Sergiwa, who was abducted by armed gunmen in a night-time raid on her home on 17 July 2019. There has been no news of her whereabouts or condition since then.

Hours after Siham Sergiwa had given a TV interview criticizing the offensive of the Libyan National Army (LNA) to capture Tripoli, dozens of masked gunmen wearing army attire stormed her home and seized her at around 2 am on 17 July. Witness testimony indicates the attackers were affiliated with the LNA. During the raid, Siham’s husband was shot in the leg and her 16-year-old son was badly beaten. They have since been released from hospital.

According to one of Siham’s family members, members of Parliament have been in contact with Haftar’s guards, who say that Siham is being held in al-Rajma prison, in Benghazi. Despite the prison being only 28 km from her home, her family has not been able to make any contact with her at all. «It is a catastrophe for the family,» said her brother, who describes Siham as «a sincerely nice human being» who «believes in a united Libya and wants to protect all Libyans from war».

As previous incidents of abductions by the LNA have sometimes resulted in the torture or death of the missing person, there are serious fears for Siham Sergiwa’s wellbeing. Therefore, I urgently call on you to:
- Ensure Siham Sergiwa’s immediate and unconditional release
- Pending her release, reveal her fate and whereabouts and ensure she is protected from all forms of torture and other ill-treatment.

Yours sincerely,

Appeals to

General Khalifa Haftar
Head of the Libyan National Army


Dear General Khalifa Haftar,



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Ambassade de l'État de Libye
Tavelweg 2
3006 Berne

Fax: 031 351 13 25
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