Assassination of Salwa Bugaighis: “A death that haunts the killers”

With sorrow mixed between the absence of justice and the spread of a culture of impunity, Libyans commemorate the assassination of lawyer and human rights activist Salwa Bugaighis, who is one of the most prominent and courageous voices defending freedom in general and women’s rights in particular in Libya.

Salwa was assassinated on 25 June 2014 in broad daylight in the middle of her house in the city of Benghazi, which was then a scene of assassinations, killings and intimidation of civil society, where gunmen attacked the house of the deceased and killed her with a hail of bullets, while they kidnapped her husband Essam Al-Gharyani, member of the Municipal Council of Benghazi, who was the most prominent candidate for the presidency of the council. His fate remains unknown up until today.

Salwa has emerged as an important figure since the February Revolution, with her participation in the Revolutionary Coalition, and her early presence in the Benghazi squares, demanding freedom and rights for the Libyan people. The lawyer did not stop performing her role after the end of the revolution months, to turn into a new role in the National Dialogue Committee, along with her human rights struggle.

The news of Salwa’s assassination spread with a photo taken hours before she was elected, after she encouraged people to participate in the elections of the House of Representatives that was approved on 25 June 2014, believing in the principle of the circulation of power.

Until the last moments of her life, Salwa did not give up her courage, as just hours before her assassination, she posted through her personal account on Facebook a picture of an armed car carrying a black flag, usually raised by Ansar al-Sharia, which was watching her in front of her house.

Today, 6 years after the crime, those involved were not revealed and neither were their names, as no formal action was taken to do justice to Salwa, whose husband’s fate remains unknown. However, she continued to pursue her killers with her memory and the pain of her separation, which did not part Libyans.

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