UN condemns Libya lawyer's killing

Libya lawyer and women's rights activist shot in car, UN condemns killing
2 min read
11 November, 2020
Hanan al-Barassi was shot in her car in the east of the country.
Fighters loyal to the internationally-recognised Government of National Accord, GNA [Getty]

The United Nations' Libya mission has condemned the killing of a lawyer and women's rights activist who was shot in her car in the east of the country on Tuesday.

"UNSMIL strongly condemns the killing of lawyer Hanan al-Barassi," after she was shot "in broad daylight, in Benghazi by unidentified armed men," it said.

Barassi, 46, was a well-known figure in the media and frequently spoke out for female victims of violence, in videos that she then broadcast on social media.

She also ran a local women's rights group.

Barassi was buried the same day in a Benghazi cemetery. Images of her funeral were widely shared online, some showing her tombstone reading "martyr for truth".

Read more: How the Arab League failed Palestine

Moments before she was killed, Barassi had been broadcasting a live Facebook video in which she criticised allies of the east's military strongman Khalifa Haftar and vowed to reveal their alleged crimes.

In a statement late Tuesday, the UN mission said Barassi "had been a vocal critic of corruption, abuse of power and human rights violations".

"Her tragic death illustrates the threats faced by Libyan women as they dare to speak out," it said, urging a prompt investigation into the killing and justice for the perpetrators.

Barassi's killing sparked an outpouring of anger in Libya, which has endured years of lawlessness and conflict since the toppling and killing of longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi in a NATO-backed uprising in 2011.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to stay connected