Libyan Activist Who'd Fled Violence Was Murdered After Returning to Participate in Benghazi Voting

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
June 27 2014 1:13 PM

Libyan Activist Who'd Fled Violence Was Murdered After Returning to Participate in Benghazi Voting

Mourners at Bugaighis's grave.


The New York Times has more detail today about the disturbing murder of Salwa Bugaighis, a Libyan lawyer and civil rights activists who was killed on Wednesday after returning to her home in Benghazi to participate in national elections. Benghazi is currently the scene of battles between Libyan armed forces and jihadists, but the motivations and alliances of the group who broke into Bugaighis' home, murdering her and apparently kidnapping her husband, are not yet clear.

[Bugaighis] seemed unconcerned about her own safety, but instead worried that the thundering clashes might discourage her fellow residents from voting during a critical national election to select a new parliament.
“My people, I beg of you, there are only three hours left,” she wrote at about 5:45 p.m., before the polls closed. She posted pictures of a group of fighters downstairs from her house, and at about 8:45 p.m., she told her sister during a telephone call that her husband was going outside to talk to the men.
Within minutes, Ms. Bugaighis, 50, was dead, having been stabbed, shot and left bleeding in her living room.

The paper calls Bugaighis's death "a terrible new low" in Libya's efforts to create a civil society. She had moved her children to Jordan after an attempted shooting, and had been spending most of her time there and in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, because of the danger to her in Benghazi.

Ben Mathis-Lilley edits the Slatest. Follow @Slatest on Twitter.

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