Defender Center for Human Rights

Libya: MEPs demand a thorough investigation into the abduction of Siham Sergiwa

Statement by leading MEPs on EU-Libya relations to mark one year since the abduction of Libyan parliamentarian Siham Sergiwa.

“Today marks one year since the abduction of Ms Siham Sergiwa, a member of the Libyan House of Representatives and a prominent women’s rights defender in the country. To date, there has been no investigation conducted and above all, there has been no sign of life from Ms Sergiwa.

Ms Sergiwa had been targeted for peacefully exercising her right to freedom of expression and denouncing human rights abuses. Unfortunately, her case is far from being exceptional, as shown by the recent increase in abductions and enforced disappearances in Libya.

We reiterate our strong call for the immediate release of Ms Sergiwa and of all victims of enforced disappearances in the country. We believe that carrying out credible investigations into these cases is the only way forward, in order to find out about the fates and whereabouts of the victims and at the same time, to guarantee that the perpetrators behind these abductions are brought to justice.

The European Parliament is committed to protect all those defending universal rights and to speak out about abuses against peaceful human rights activists.”

This statement was co-signed by;

Fabio Massimo Castaldo, European Parliament Vice-President, responsible for Human Rights and Democracy

Maria Arena, Chair of the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights, and


Andrea Cozzolino, Chair of the European Parliament’s delegation for relations with the Maghreb countries and the Arab Maghreb Union.

Background

Siham Sergiwa disappeared on 17 July 2019 following an attack on her home by an armed group in the coastal city of Benghazi, which is controlled by eastern forces affiliated to General Khalifa Haftar.