Libyan MP And Activist Abducted From Home In Benghazi — Where Is Seham Sergiwa?

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Who Is Seham Sergiwa? New Details On Woman Abducted From Home In Benghazi

In America we think of politicians as the butt of a lot of jokes, or at the elected officials who don't always quite seem to keep all of the various promises they made while out on the campaign trail. Sure, politics are important (now more than ever) but we don't often find ourselves worrying that our local council member is going to be taking their life into their own hands by asking to change the parking schedule. Unfortunately in other parts of the world that's not the case. MP Seham Sergiwas was recently kidnapped from her home in Libya after speaking out against a violent regime making an assault on her home capitol. Here's what we know about the case so far and why it matters so very much. Who is Seham Sergiwas?

1. The News About Seham Sergiwa

Deep concern is building after Seham Sergiwa, a member of the English Parliament, was kidnapped in Libya after making critical statements about Khalifa Haftar. In that nation, Hafta is a powerful figure and a controversial one who contributes to the state of unrest and violence. The day after she made an appearance on television decrying the march on Tripoli by Haftar's own forces, she was dragged away from her home in Benghazi by men carrying serious guns who were also wearing masks. Now, 12 days have elapsed since she was taken from her home and no one has heard from her. It's a deeply worrisome situation, but hopefully, it's also one that will underline just how much Haftar needs checking. 

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2. Violence And Condemnation 

Seham wasn't the only person who Haftar's cronies laid hands on during the  attack and kidnapping either. Her husband Ali as well as the couple's son, 14-year-old Fadi, were badly beaten during the attack which took place in the small hours of the morning. As if this weren't bad enough, both men were also shot. Thankfully, they were able to be rushed to the hospital in time to receive the treatment that they needed in order to survive, but there's been no more news about the woman they both were injured trying to protect. The kidnapping of Seham has been addressed by the House of Representatives in Tobruk (where she's a member) and also by the United Nations. Both have made it clear that they condemn this type of behavior

3. Critics Condemn Haftar 

For years, Seham studied in London and made the city her home, making friends there and across the pond in America. Now, those family and friends from around the globe are begging for her release, going so far as to work with the US government and asking for help from other organizations who could help grant Seham freedom. Those who oppose Haftar are already holding him accountable for Seham's wellbeing. These critics have also been quick to find witnesses who actually saw members of Haftar's own Libyan National Army break into the house and take her away. It's going to be hard for Haftar not to respond when there's so much piling up against him. Sadly, despots aren't known for their logic. 

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4. Haftar's Camp Standing Strong 

While there are definitely those who blame Haftar and who seek to get him to acknowledge the charges, there are other people, some who still serve for Haftar (and are thus extremely biased) who say there's no way that the general was involved in the attack of Seham's family or the woman's actual abduction. “We have heard reports of this, but if these men were masked, how can anyone say who they belonged to? You shouldn’t believe everything you hear knowing this country, there is a war against terrorists and the situation is very confusing. The army should not be blamed," said a source who works under Haftar. 

5. Who Will Stop Haftar? 

Haftar's anonymous cronies aren't the only ones who think he wasn't involved. Tarek El-Kharrez works for the Benghazi-centered team in Libya that was established to oppose the government officially backed by the United Nations. According to Tarek, there's no way that Haftar's troops were involved, but he says that there's been an investigation that's been launched all the same though this seems unlikely to yield the sort of results Seham's family and friends are hoping for. Even scarier? Hafter is gaining more support, from places like Russia and Egypt, to name just a few. There's even talk that his recent attack on the capitol was done with the silent approval of the Trump administration. 

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6. Stepping From The Shadows 

Seham has long been asking Haftar to end his operations which fly in the face of the agreements the country formed with the United Nations, and while she's not the only MP doing so, she's certainly become a mouthpiece for the movement. In fact, the day before she was abducted she publicly appeared on TV and called for unity. You think that in this day and age that would be a harmless thing to do, but for a violent military leader making moves to take over a nation, peace and unity are the last things that you want. If Haftar is going to continue his proverbial reign of terror, then he should start by owning up to his actions, including but not limited to the abduction of one of his biggest critics. 

Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cats, Batman and Margot. She's an experienced generalist with a passion for lifestyle, geek news, pop culture, and true crime.