A human rights activists has cast doubt on a Misratan Court’s 2014 conviction of three Tunisian men on charges of murder and conspiracy to murder and their subsequent sentence to be hanged.
Speaking in support of the three men, Mostapha Abdelkebir, a member of the Arab Institute for Human Rights, an independent non-governmental organization based in Tunisia claimed to have access to a wealth of evidence he said proved the men’s innocence.
According to Abdelkebir, a Tunisian man employed at an ice cream factory in Misrata was allegedly sexually assaulted at gunpoint by a manager. In retaliation, Abdelkebir claimed, the Tunisian man killed the manager, a crime for which he and two associates–said to be employed by a rival ice cream factory–were layer found guilty of.
The three Tunisians, according to Abdelkebir, are originally from Gafsa, Siliana, and Jendouba.
A fourth man, a Libyan, was also charged in connection with the crime, but is said to have absconded to Europe where he remains.
The sentence will now need to be confirmed by the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Libya, a process that Tunisia Live has been advised could take years.
“If anything happens to these Tunisians,” Abdelkebir, himself a Libyan national, told Tunisia Live, “The Tunisian Ministry of Foreign Affairs should be held responsible for it.”
Contacted by Tunisia Live, a representative for the Tunisian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ media office confirmed that officials are following the case, but was unable to provide further details. The representative emphasized that diplomatic relations with Libya are strained due to the absence of any official Tunisian consulate in Libya since 2015.
This is far from the first time Libyan officials have imprisoned Tunisian nationals. Over 200 Tunisians are currently being held in Libyan prisons, Abdelkebir claimed, many of whom are likely innocent.
Rahma is preparing a master thesis in Anglo-American studies. She is interested in politics and foreign affairs. Since the outbreak of the Tunisian revolution, she volunteered for several Tunisian associations such as ATIDE, Sawty and others. She writes articles about post-revolution Tunisia.