Target: President Nouri Abusahmain
Goal: Disarm Libya militias responsible for killing civilians, and investigate a recent event that led to civilian deaths.
On November 15, 2013, heavily armed militias fired assault rifles, machine guns, and anti aircraft weaponry at peaceful protesters in Tripoli, Libya, killing several people. The resulting clash between militias and other armed groups left 43 people dead and at least 460 wounded. The Libyan government promised to disarm the militias, investigate the events, and hold officials and commanders responsible. However, with the instability prevalent in the country, this is proving to be difficult.
The Tripoli Local Council had called for a peaceful protest, where the people would rally against the presence of illegally armed groups in Tripoli. The event was overwhelming; thousands of people marched peacefully in neighborhoods that belonged to former Gaddafi officials, but which now house the militias. Eyewitnesses and protesters said that they did not see weapons being drawn by the protesters, but when the demonstration entered the militia-controlled neighborhoods the militias opened fire. The protesters were heard shouting, “Tripoli is free, militias should leave,” and “We want the army, we want the police, Libya is in a mess,” just before bullets went flying. Included in the dead and wounded were medical personnel and civilians who were not involved in the protest.
It is true, Libya is a mess and the people want it to end. The Libyan government should do everything in its power to ensure that justice is given to the victims. The government needs to conduct investigations into the militias, and the security forces who were in charge of protecting the protesters. The government needs to find out if the security forces did not help because they were afraid, or if they had ties to the militias themselves. Sign this petition and help protect the Libyan people.
Dear President Nouri Abusahmain,
I understand the instability of your country, and I realize how difficult it must be to bring some semblance of organization and peace, but I am urging you to make it happen for your people. The killings in Tripoli, conducted by the Misrata militias, need to be investigated thoroughly and impartially. The security forces who were in charge of protecting the protesters also need to be investigated, as they did nothing to stop the killing or move the protesters to a safe place. I implore you to keep your promise to the people and disarm these militias.
Your people desperately wish for the violence to stop. If thousands were motivated to come together in a place where they know that militias run rampant, then it is clear they want their lives and government to change for the better. Please do everything in your power to make this happen.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: WEBN-TV via flickr