*LFJL urges Libya to prosecute those responsible for attacks on law enforcement officials

February 11, 2014

Lawyers for Justice in Libya (LFJL) wishes to send its deepest condolences to the family and friends of Attorney General Abdulaziz Al-Hassadi, who was assassinated on the 8 February 2014. LFJL expresses its ongoing concern and condemnation of such attacks against law enforcement professionals.

Abdulaziz Al-Hassadih served during both of the post-revolution governments of Abdurrahim El-Keib and Ali Zeidan prior to his resignation in March 2013. He was reportedly shot at his home in Derna and later died in hospital.  Al-Hassadi’s death follows an assasination attempt on on a local judge, Halal Bufares, in Derna on 7 February 2014.

Those involved in law enforcement together with law professionals and legal activists, play a vital role in Libya’s democratic transition. They are fundamental actors in ensuring that the rule of law is established and that impunity is not accorded to those who commit crimes. Attacks or threats against those who work in the law weaken the justice system, undermine peaceful and democratic transition efforts, and put Libya at risk of further conflict. “The role of those in the legal profession is vital to protect human rights and necessary for transitional justice efforts to succeed,” said LFJL Director Elham Saudi.  “With their lives at constant risk, the entire justice system and the rule of law are also at risk,” she added.

LFJL has previously called on the government to take appropriate action and hold individuals or groups to account for such attacks. Saudi said, “The attacks against Al-Hassadi and Bufares are a direct attack on the rule of law. It is imperative that those responsible are held accountable. The Libyan government must no longer ignore the serious crimes being committed and take practical steps to bring about justice.  Without this, the chance to establish peace and long-lasting security is severely jeopardised.”

It is vital for the government to take direct action to counter the ongoing attacks if Libya is to bring an end to this period of violence. LFJL urges the government to ensure the protection of the legal profession in order to mark its commitment towards the rule of law and the rights of all Libyans. 

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