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Political instability in Libya no justification for “witch hunt”

June 14, 2012, 1:44 UTC+3
The Russian president’s special envoy noted that "the leadership of new Libya is faced with complicated tasks of the post-revolutionary period"
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MOSCOW, June 13 (Itar-Tass) —— The political instability in Libya does not justify the “witch hunt“ that was launched in that country,” member of the upper house of Russian parliament Mikhail Margelov, the Russian President’s special envoy to Africa, told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.

He described the political landscape in Libya as patchwork. “Intensive rivalry between tribes and clans, between Western and Eastern regions is on in the country,” he said. “Mustafa Abdul Jalil, the head of Libya’s Transitional National Council, looks for allies among the Muslim Brothers and even among representatives of the clan of [the killed Libyan leader Muamar] Gaddafi. Tuaregs are in turmoil in the east of the country inspired by separatist successes of Tuaregs in Mali.”

“Extremists looking to Al Qaeda of the Pakistani pattern rather than the local radical groups strengthen their positions,” Margelov noted. “Blasts are staged at the American embassy; transport columns of foreign citizens come under fire; home guards seize the capital’s airport. Thousands of Gaddafi’s former associates are held in prisons without trial.”

“Thus, the leadership of new Libya is faced with complicated tasks of the post-revolutionary period,” the Russian president’s special envoy noted.

“All this does not justify the authorities that launched ‘witch hunt’ against this alarming background, nor does this enhance the image of the new state,” he stressed.

In this connection Margelov pointed to a number of actions of the Libyan leadership which he assessed as “none other than outrageous.”

“The point of the matter is the tough sentence passed recently on citizens of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus and the impermissible detention on June 7 of officials of the International Criminal Court, among them Russian citizen Alexander Khodakov, after they had visited Gaddafi’s son Saif al Islam in the prison of the Libyan city of Zintan,” he noted.

The Russian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday demanded that the Libyan authorities should “ensure prompt release of Alexander Khodakov and of all representatives of the International Criminal Court, the more so as the 1970 UN Security Council resolution obliges the Libyan side fully to cooperate with the International Criminal Court.” The ministry also made assurances that Russian diplomats in coordination with representatives of other countries concerned will continue exerting efforts toward this end.

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