Kaltoum Saleh, 18, is elated to graduate from her overcrowded high school in the remote Saharan town of Ubari, near the Algerian border.
While the tenth anniversary last month of Washington’s invasion of Iraq provoked overwhelmingly negative reviews of the adventure except among its most die-hard neo-conservative proponents, a more recent - albeit far less dramatic and costly - intervention has faded almost completely from public notice.
Safia’s six-year-old body is riddled with scars from the rocket that hit her home in February. With her immediate family all killed in the violent attack, this sole survivor smiles shyly as she visits the medics that fought to save her life.
Farrah Hamary looks the picture of despair as sweat trickles down his face in Tripoli’s heat and humidity. Hamary is too afraid to give his full name or to allow his picture to be taken.
The dark rain clouds and circling military helicopter accentuated the mood of the small, sombre crowd gathered in Tripoli’s Martyr’s Square to commemorate Libya’s dead heroes.
Startling new evidence of the torture, unlawful rendition, and other abuse of Libyan anti-Gaddafi rebels in U.S. detention facilities during the George W. Bush administration was revealed Wednesday by Human Rights Watch (HRW).
One year has passed since the Tawerghans fled their coastal town during Muammar Gaddafi’s violent overthrow, and displaced residents are still waiting for a chance to return.
The security situation in Libya remains tense as violence by way of car bombings, political assassinations of high-ranking government and military officials, attacks on foreign diplomatic staff and NGOs, and young men sorting out minor disputes with AK-47s continues unabated.
Pregnant women miscarrying due to mistreatment, detainees mainly from sub-Saharan Africa denied adequate food and water. Small cells crammed with 80-100 detainees subjected to arbitrary justice by Libya’s volatile militias, politically persecuted Somalis forcibly repatriated to Mogadishu, and hundreds of boat people dying trying to flee Libya for a better life in Europe.
“The human rights situation in Libya now is far worse than under the late dictator Muammar Gaddafi,” Nasser al-Hawary, researcher with the Libyan Observatory for Human Rights tells IPS.
On election day long lines of people from Sabha’s impoverished community of Tayuri waited to vote under the harsh Saharan sun. Four hundred miles from the Mediterranean coast, Sabha is tucked into the volatile southwest bordering Algeria, Niger and Chad.