UN alarmed over attack on court in Libya

UN alarmed over attack on court in Libya

TRIPOLI, Nov 26, Reuters - The UN mission to Libya expressed concern over a court attack on a court where Saif al-Islam Gaddafi's lawyer said armed men stopped him from filing an appeal against his disqualification from next month's presidential election.

The election commission disqualified Saif al-Islam, son of the late Libyan dictator, and 24 others on Wednesday from the Dec. 24 election, which is part of a peace process meant to end a decade of turmoil, but has stirred fears of renewed conflict.

In a video, Gaddafi's lawyer, Khaled al-Zaidi, said armed men had raided the court in the southern city of Sebha, one of only three registration centres, and stopped him entering to lodge his client's appeal.

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya said it was alarmed by the attack on the appeal court in Sebha, strongly condemned any form of electoral-related violence and reiterated that the electoral process must be protected.

The Mission reiterates its call for transparent, fair and inclusive elections on 24 December.

Rival camps are disputing the election rules and eligibility of candidates, which is threatening to derail the vote and bring the U.N. peace process to an end.

Sebha is under the control of a group that is allied to the eastern Libyan National Army force commanded by Khalifa Haftar, another of the main candidates.

An armed group forced everyone to leave the court building, according to the Justice Ministry in Tripoli.

The candidacy of Gaddafi was rejected on the basis of a 2015 conviction by a Tripoli court in absentia for war crimes committed during the fighting that ousted his father in 2011.

He has spent the last decade in the mountain town of Zintan, where his captors took him after he was captured trying to flee Libya during the uprising.