Prison of Terror

by Nafissa Assed

On the 17th of March I headed to the airport, leaving Tripoli for safety reasons. The internet has been cut off in Libya since 3rd March, phone lines are very bad in all the cities, and some cities are totally isolated (no phone lines, no water, no electricity) – like Zawiya, Misurata, and now Benghazi’s too. God only knows what is coming next. After we lost the internet, Tripoli became a prison of terror.

Qaddafi’s thugs are celebrating all the time, and every day gunfire starts and stops all of a sudden, at any second. Out of a complete silence, we see cars passing by our building playing very loud music, songs for Qaddafi. At other times (usually between 2 and 4 am) we hear gunfire that gradually increases, with no celebrations or cars chanting his name around the streets.

A confirmed source informed me that demonstrations started  in the Souq el-Jumaa area two days ago but thugs stopped it quickly so that no one would notice it. Qaddafi supporters spread rumours that Ajdabiya is now under Qaddafi’s forces’ control.  Saif al-Qaddafi promised his delusional backers that things would end in less than 2 days from March 14th and that by this Friday (18th March) he would be praying  in Benghazi. All this propaganda and false
information is made up in Tripoli to confuse, scare and convince Qaddafi’s  kids (the ones he takes from primary schools and shelters) with lots of songs in the streets, dancing and cars carrying his filthy flag.

On the 1oth of March (Thursday), Qaddafi’s gangsters sent an SMS to all cell phones, reading:

“A Saudi sheikh called Saleh El Fawzan, senior religious scholar and a member of the Committee for Issuing Fatwas in Saudi Arabia, asks every Libyan citizen to report on any imam encouraging people to raise confusion in the community.”

Qaddafi sees every Friday as a nightmare, and he has to make Thursdays so frightening and scary for the Libyans by increasing the threats and intimidation.

Friday 18th March was the day I reluctantly left my beloved Libya. On our way to the airport we had to pass through checkpoints where Qaddafi’s forces stop cars, stare closely at each face with their evil eyes, and search the car. I heard that every time they stop cars to search the trunks, people get out of their car and watch the process, because Qaddafi’s forces may plant any weapon and then alert the next checkpoint to catch it (a con and an evil way to show they are doing their boring job and catching armed people).

The worst part was when we were forced to park our car quarter of a mile from the airport car park and to carry our luggage all that way to the door of the airport. They had no respect for anyone. Even when they saw elderly people they insisted that no car would enter the car park except the thugs and some regime VIPs.

Entering the airport, I was shocked by the horrible smell and the unbelievable amounts of dirt and garbage all around. Many people had put up tents and were camping until they could catch a plane back to their homes. The scene was horrible, and the moment I picked up my camera to take pictures, Qaddafi’s forces immediately ran towards us and asked a member of my family: where is this girl from? And why is she using her camera? When I said I was Libyan, they said: Okay, hide your camera now or we will take it away. Unfortunately I couldn’t take pictures to show the horrifying scenes of people spending nights outside the airport.

When I entered the airport I expected it to be unbelievably crowded, but it was completely empty. No flights and no airlines were working. My flight was the last one.

Most people who used to work at the airport had been replaced by people who belong to the battalion of Khamis (one of Qaddafi’s brutal sons- and the worst of all his sons when it comes to killing innocent civilians). I heard that they don’t allow Libyans to leave easily, and indeed, before I left the country, they asked why I was leaving and where I was going,  what I had been doing in Libya and what I was going to do in Morocco. They also took my name and gave it to somebody to check it. I waited for about 30 minutes until that source called back to give the OK for me to leave. That was a regular procedure they did with every Libyan leaving the country.

I can tell by now that Qaddafi’s forces are just stupid killers, because I carried with me some of the bullets that I collected from the streets of Tripoli in my handbag and they couldn’t detect it through their scanning checkpoints. As
Libyans, we know for a fact that Qaddafi hires only bloodthirsty killers with no brains, because he always fears smart people.

On the plane, there were many reporters leaving the country. And minutes before it took off, a Libyan plane belonging to Libyan National Airlines landed. A red carpet was laid in front of the plane, and all the people who disembarked were wearing Gulf outfits. I can’t guess who they were and what they were coming to Libya for at that very critical time when the Security Council was a very few hours away from passing the no-fly zone resolution.

Based on the last updates that I received from my friends inside Libya, the internet is still completely blocked (almost a month now). And just hours ago a source confirmed to me that most lphone lines have been cut in Tripoli. Only some numbers from the Libyana phone operator (+ 218 92….) seem to be working, and international lines are tough to come by. Also the phone service has been completely blocked in Benghazi since Thursday 18th March, when Qaddafi’s forces brutally attacked some of Benghazi’s areas and missiles hit, as well as tens of adults, a bedroom of 2 kids (one around five years old). Both are still in intensive care. Today, Wednesday March 22nd, Qaddafi’s thugs murdered 5 kids ( shot in the head) after the security council ordered him to cease fire, but it seems Qaddafi can’t put his head on a pillow at the end of the day if he doesn’t make sure he murders innocent Libyan citizens and as many kids as he can.

9 thoughts on “Prison of Terror”

  1. another view of Libya gadaffi and the ‘rebels’ of east libya:

    ‘So the question is, why has a revolt broken out?

    The answer, which I have been intensely researching for the past month is not a simple one.

    The revolt started in Benghazi in eastern Libya. A very important point not mentioned anywhere in the international media is the fact that due to geographic location, being one of the closest point to Europe from the African continent, Benghazi has over the past 15 years or so become the epicenter of African migration to Europe. At one point over a thousand African migrants a day were pouring into Libya in hopes of arranging transport to Europe.

    The human trafficking industry, one of the most evil, inhumane businesses on the planet, grew into a billion dollar a year industry in Benghazi. A large, viscous underworld mafia set down deep roots in Benghazi, employing thousands in various capacities and corrupting Libyan police and government officials. It has only been in the past year or so that the Libyan government, with help from Italy, has finally brought this cancer under control. With their livelihood destroyed and many of their leaders in prison, the human trafficking mafia have been at the forefront in funding and supporting the Libyan rebellion. Many of the human trafficking gangs and other lumpen elements in Benghazi are known for racist pogroms against African guest workers where over the past decade they regularly robbed and murdered Africans in Benghazi and its surrounding neighborhoods. Since the rebellion in Benghazi broke out several hundred Sudanese, Somali, Ethiopian and Eritrean guest workers have been robbed and murdered by racist rebel militias, a fact well hidden by the international media.

    Benghazi has also long been a well known center of religious extremism. Libyan fanatics who spent time in Afghanistan are concentrated there and a number of terrorist cells have been carrying out bombings and assassinations of government officials in Benghazi over the past two decades. One cell, calling itself the Fighting Islamic Group, declared itself an Al Queda affiliate back in 2007. These cells were the first to take up arms against the Libyan government.
    http://www.countercurrents.org/mountain220311.htm

    ask yourself this: if the US backs the ‘rebels’ can they really be so angelic? isnt this one more colour revolution? Pulse needs to look a bit beyond the promaganda emanating from Benghazi..to see whats really happening.

    1. Yeah, why else would anyone object to living under a murderous dictatorship. One would have to be an ‘Islamist’ or a ‘human trafficker’.

      1. murderous dictatorship…you must have had you brain sheep dipped by the MSM.
        lets look at gadaffi:

        ‘World cheers as the CIA plunges Libya into chaos
        How was Libya doing under the rule of Gadaffi? How bad did the people have it? Were they oppressed as we now commonly accept as fact? Let us look at the facts for a moment.

        Before the chaos erupted, Libya had a lower incarceration rate than the Czech republic. It ranked 61st. Libya had the lowest infant mortality rate of all of Africa. Libya had the highest life expectancy of all of Africa. Less than 5% of the population was undernourished. In response to the rising food prices around the world, the government of Libya abolished ALL taxes on food.

        People in Libya were rich. Libya had the highest gross domestic product (GDP) at purchasing power parity (PPP) per capita of all of Africa. The government took care to ensure that everyone in the country shared in the wealth. Libya had the highest Human Development Index of any country on the continent. The wealth was distributed equally. In Libya, a lower percentage of people lived below the poverty line than in the Netherlands.
        http://davidrothscum.blogspot.com/2011/02/world-cheers-as-cia-plunges-libya-into.html

        this outdoes any democratic leader bar Castro or Chavez

        1. The Rothscum article is questionable and merits little attention. While most of the facts he states in his article are verifiable, they bear little relevance to what is happening. Once can also cite other damning statistics about Libya which paint it in a worse light, for example. Statistics can speak in many ways.
          The new “distribution of oil wealth” plan and the “abolition of taxes on food” both came about recently, clearly as an attempt to throw a bone the population (in which there is 30% unemployment – and I have seen statistics giving 1/3 of population below poverty line…), to prevent revolt. If one is looking for correlations of that sort, one could cite incarceration statistics in America and the income disparity there as being among the worst in the world – why there is no open revolt there? After all, the US has become somewhat of a police state after the 9/11 attacks. None of it explains why what is happening is happening, nor does it explain why the IRC pulled out of Ben Ghazi in anticipation of a massacre :
          http://my.firedoglake.com/gorillasguides/2011/03/17/libya-red-cross-withdraws-from-benghazi/

          Seeing some of the comments around Libya make me think that the Monitor Group ( http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/07_11/b4025061.htm )is still working around the clock for Gadhafi, as there is a familiar pattern of accusations and insinuations : Gadhafi is actually a noble, peace-loving liberator, he smells wonderful, the Libyans throw flowers onto his path, the agitators are opportunists, and ousting Gadhafi will create a vacuum to be filled by al-Qaeda (where have we heard this before?), “who are these rebels anyway?”, etc. (maybe it’s the Hari Krishnas, while we’re at it?). This is exactly the behavior of Mubarak and ben Ali when they knew that their rule was threatened, to attribute the unrest to some mysterious outside forces – the “Americans”, the “Zionists”, the “Iranians” – and claim these outside agitators have some agenda to overthrow the regime, a typical pattern one always sees when a regime is in trouble. It is a powerful argument because it has been sometimes true in the past, so therefore plausible, and rallying population can be done around an even unpopular leader in this way (one thing I feared about a NATO bombing campaign). The reports of the British SAS agents early on are much more plausible, though.

          It is difficult to recreate a clear picture of reality of what is exactly happening, and some of the information floating in the blogosphere smells of disinformation, as a kind of mirror image of the vilification of Saddam before the criminal “Shock and Awe” aggression, complete with organ harvesting jihadists (I haven’t seen any documentation on this story anywhere, which seems to be the new version of Saddam’s “incubator babies” – which doesn’t mean it’s not true). It seems that some believe that an “anti-capitalist” and “anti-colonialist” is somehow incapable of being a murderer and a tyrant – where does such magical thinking come from?

          Against Western intervention :
          It is clear that Western leaders have no moral authority, and are responsible for several millions of deaths in the last several decades in foreign lands, and ongoing slaughters currently in more than 5 countries. They would do better to look themselves in the mirror, BUT the fact that they don’t do this is not an argument against intervention – and the rigid belief that hypocrites cannot possibly do any good in the process of serving their own interests is just wrong, I think.

          As for the media :
          While it is not conclusive, the fact that Al Jazeera is broadcasting from Doha, Qatar being a member of the GCC, does raise questions. The GCC seems to have acquiesced to the SCR1973 in exchange for being allowed to crush the uprisings in Bahrain, critically close to the Saudi oil fields. In short, a deal seems to have been made between the constellation of powerful Gulf oil interests and NATO, to once more project its power to prove its usefulness and target Gadhafi (whom they hate as much as his population seems to). One wonders exactly how much independence AJ really has to depart from some kind of official line (I don’t know).
          http://craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2011/03/military-action-against-libya-is-not-illegal-not-about-democracy-and-very-limited/

          All that being said, while I think some of the points made here are weak, many of them are very good, and it’s worth reading :
          http://zeroanthropology.net/2011/03/18/the-libyan-revolution-is-dead-notes-for-an-autopsy/

          This, though :
          http://ntclibya.org/english/council-members/
          does not inspire confidence for me :

          A political and education Libyan who was born in the city of Benghazi in 1966. Has a PhD in pivatisation [What is this?] obtained from the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest Romania. He occupied the position of Minister of Economy, Trade and Investment in Libya, and was the youngest minister to fill such a post. Before taking the ministerial position, he founded the Centre for Export Development in 2006 and became the first Director General for it. He also assumed the position of Director General for the Ownership expansion program (privatization fund) in 2005.

          1. ‘The Rothscum article is questionable and merits little attention. While most of the facts he states in his article are verifiable, they bear little relevance to what is happening.

            not so they bear very close resemblance to whats happening…esp in regard to who the ‘rebels’ are: jihadists, human traffickers, free marketeers
            http://www.blockreportradio.com/radio-mainmenu-27/1065-an-pan-african-view-on-libya-and-qadafi.html
            http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20110223-jihadist-opportunities-libya
            =========================
            ‘It is difficult to recreate a clear picture of reality of what is exactly happening, and some of the information floating in the blogosphere smells of disinformation,’

            if you lack the ability to tell truth from falsehood,stay out of the debate.
            ——————————

            military action against Libya IS illegal…the UN has also once again been used to rubber stamp mass murder..or is Murray ignorant of the nature of the Benghazi tribe?
            http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20110223-jihadist-opportunities-libya
            http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article27771.htm#idc-cover
            =======================

            but thanks for this:
            ‘A political and education Libyan who was born in the city of Benghazi in 1966. Has a PhD in pivatisation ‘

            indeed as i said: free marketeers,..along with jihadists human traffickers and racists
            http://www.blackagendareport.com/content/coalition-crusaders-join-al-qaeda-oust-qaddafi-and-roll-back-libyan-revolution

            1. First, thank you for the Block Report interview. You should be careful of anyone extolling the virtues of Gadhafi’s developments, as the regime has enough cash to enlist anyone who want to speak highly of them. Some of it is laughable, and to characterize what is happening now in Libya as a “counter-revolution” is the height of absurdity. Also, Gadhafi is being praised as someone who would unite the African continent is ridiculous, as many of his mercenaries come from black Africa, Chad, etc. – is this a good vision of being “united”? And the drivel about the Green Book, no… Stalin’s speeches also contained some beautiful rhetoric, and the Soviets were good Communists too… Many of the reviled despots in sub Saharan Africa were directly supported by Gadhafi (see below). I don’t see this as a healthy vision of “Pan-African unity”, myself.

              Secondly to argue that there is a decent standard of living in Libya (which I have seen refuted) has nothing to do with whether or not there was imminent slaughter against a civilian population. Nothing.

              To use the stratfor article to help make your point :
              http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20110223-jihadist-opportunities-libya
              is misleading and hypocritical. There are many who are now claiming that the “rebels” should not be aided because there are antecedents of al-Qaeda links and “jihadists” among their ranks. Well, whooptie-doo. Do you think the “jihadists” are more dangerous than Gadhafi, or than the massive violence of the Western imperial powers? Be careful how you answer that, the fear of “jihadists” (which in the media denotes anyone with a beard and a gun between Morocco and Tashkent who is against any regime in power at the moment) is exactly one of the tactics used by the Arab autocrats to justify remaining in power with an iron fist over the population, as well as the justification at the State Dept in the US to keep supporting the tyrants in place, for “stability’s sake”. Yes, al-Qaeda exists, and yes, they can be dangerous, but do you not see the inherent contradiction in using that as a bogeyman, when you yourself are railing against Imperial policies, and these people are the very people who went to Iraq to combat the foreign occupiers? Worst, do you really think that all “islamists” who oppose US and Saudi policies really identify themselves as members of al-Qaeda? I have seen no proof of this. In any case, “jihadists” are not the only, not the majority of the uprising, just as the MB was not the majority of the uprising in Egypt.

              I’m well aware of this, and you can find more info here :
              http://www.consortiumnews.com/2011/032511.html
              here :
              “Al‐Qa’ida’s Foreign Fighters in Iraq: A First Look at the Sinjar Records” :

              Click to access sinjar-records_final.pdf


              and here :
              http://cablesearch.org/cable/view.php?id=08TRIPOLI430
              (which I’ve already linked to here)

              One thing about the author’s analysis on the State Dept. cable :

              Finally, the author opined that many of these men were viewing the fight in Iraq as a way to attack the United States, which they saw as supporting the Libyan regime in recent years.

              You seemed to have missed this essential part of it : that those going to Iraq were doing so out of hostility to Gadhafi and to the US, and that we could be facilitating the rise to power in Tripoli some of those very same factions : isn’t this exactly what an anti-imperialist like yourself would want? That the US, Britain and France would be shooting themselves in the foot with this intervention, and the outcome would be rather unfavorable to “US interests”?

              if you lack the ability to tell truth from falsehood,stay out of the debate.

              Yes, we should all stick to our opinions and preconceived notions, supported by information gleaned on the internet from sites that naturally already support our personal worldview and politics, rather than trying to know as much as possible from various different sources. Could I borrow that magic decoder ring you use to determine the difference between truth and falsehood? One thing that sets up red flags for me is this very confidence and certainty that you seem have in ascertaining what is disinformation and what is genuine. I think you are just copying and pasting articles which corroborate your opinion.

              Read about the several decade long history of the Gadhafi clan and government in propping up its own friendly dictators in the African continent – you seem intent upon wanting him to stay because you think it is not a good tactic for the larger criminal imperialists to support the overthrow the smaller criminal imperialist – as I’ve already stated, this is a logical error, and one which owes more to abstract notions of “politics” and intellectual niceties than to the reality people face on the ground. I have long since dropped the ideologically puerile notions of “left” and “right”, as if the whole of reality and political thought could be encapsulated and expressed by this 2 dimensional model – it can’t, and the ideas are more often than not used as rhetorical cudgels to beat the other side with rather than delving into the issues. I also don’t subscribe to the notion that we must at all costs defend our “camp” as it tends to cloud our vision as to the facts – PULSE media can be wrong, as can the Black Agenda Report, and just because we think they are “on our side” does not mean that they are exempt from any kind of scrutiny. You’re right to pose questions and challenge people here, but I just don’t think it’s very convincing, or well though out.
              Example :

              Using what Libya claims is an invalid and illegal UN resolution as a pretext, the coalition is pounding the Libyan defense forces…

              The UN resolution is legal, however the US decision to go to war was illegal (no Congressional approval). However, the morality or intelligence of any action should not only be based on whether it is legal or not.
              http://crossingthecrescent.com/?p=496

              Now, if you want to actually learn something on the subject, read here, not so much for the article (which is quite good too), but mostly for the links contained in it :
              http://zunguzungu.wordpress.com/2011/03/26/libya-waiting-to-see/

              Gaddafi is not just any dictator; he’s got a combination of continent-wide ambition and deep pockets filled with oil, and he has used that oil money to train, arm, and finance all manner of rebels in some of the bloodiest conflicts across the continent, not for a handful of years, but for over four decades. This is not an invention of the people who are now bombing him. He might use words like “sovereignty” and “Marxism” and “anti-Americanism” when he needs to (and drop them the moment some other position — like a close alliance with the United States — is more useful), but his method has basically been consistent since the seventies: use his money to buy personal influence, with anyone he can, as a route to some kind of regional dominance.

              The ONLY valid arguments against foreign intervention are that it could create a situation which could make things worse for the people there, or that it is impossible to know, so it is better to stay out, or that NATO intervention will let them somehow appropriate the uprising, giving them a reason to influence the outcome (placing someone in power who serves their interests instead of the interests of Libyans). All other arguments are irrelevant, and there is no reason to repeat the tired mantra that they are all scoundrels anyway, so it doesn’t matter.

              As for oil and arms, the best way to keep the contracts and the money flowing from them would have been to keep good relations with Gadhafi, duh.

              1. Also, about disinformation vs reality, do not think that those who are hesitantly supporting (which is too strong a word) NATO intervention (and British special forces, or whatever else they might already have on the ground) are incapable of knowing the difference.
                This, for example :

                Libyan state television showed blackened and mangled bodies that it said were victims of airstrikes in Tripoli. . . . A U.S. intelligence report on Monday, the day after coalition missiles attacked Gadhafi’s Bab al-Aziziya compound in the capitol, said that a senior Gadhafi aide was told to take bodies from a morgue and place them at the scene of the bomb damage, to be displayed for visiting journalists. A senior U.S. defense official revealed the contents of the intelligence report on condition of anonymity because it was classified secret.

                was written by Greenwald recently in a column, and it obvious message is that the goal of the leak is to promote the war effort – i.e., painting Gadhafi’s forces as deceptive and manipulative with casualty reports will reinforce the idea of Gadhafi as a “bad guy” in the public mind, and bolster public opinion for the intervention.
                http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/03/24/leak/index.html

                Don’t think that people are so clueless as to not recognize obvious propaganda when they see it.

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