Outrage in Libya after woman gang-raped by militiamen
Protests broke out in the centre of the Libyan capital Tripoli on Friday after a video showing a woman being gang-raped by members of a local militia emerged on social media.
Demonstrations took place again on Saturday, with rights groups vowing to organise protests everyday for a week against the brutal crime and rampant abuses by the country’s militias.
The video, which shows members of the Al-Awashr Brigade taking turns in raping a woman as she pleads for mercy in front of her young daughter, was posted on the Facebook page of the rival Tripoli Revolutionaries Brigade late on Wednesday.
The Tripoli Revolutionaries Brigade said it found the video on the phone of Al-Awashr commander, Salah Hubaishi, whom it killed in a raid a week earlier.
The fate of the victim and her daughter remains unknown.
Responding to growing public anger, the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) promised to bring the rapists and anyone involved in the attack to justice, describing them as “human wolves”.
Meanwhile, in the city of Tarhouna, where the victim is from, yet another local militia has threatened to attack Tripoli in revenge for the woman if the government did not hand the perpetrators over to them.
Five years after Libya's 2011 revolution that toppled long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi, the country remains embroiled in violence and political chaos as militias and two rival governments vie for power.
The GNA took up office in March with the hopes of re-establishing central power and stemming a militant threat from the Islamic State group.
It was intended to replace the rival administrations but has failed to win a vote of confidence from the parliament in Tobruk while the Tripoli-based Government of National Salvation (GNS) considers it illegitimate.
The GNA suffered a fresh setback in October after the rival GNS seized key offices in the capital.