S&Ds condemn killing of human-rights campaigner Salwa Bugaighis on Libyan election day

Anna Gomes: S&Ds condemn killing of human-rights campaigner Salwa Bugaighis on Libyan election day

General elections in Libya ended yesterday with a low turnout and an outbreak of violence. The Socialists and Democrats support the election of a new parliament that should lead the country’s transition to democracy, but the Group has strongly condemned the violence – in particular the brutal murder of one of Libya's leading  women activists, who started the revolt against the Gaddafi regime in Benghazi.

MEP Ana Gomes, S&D spokesperson on foreign affairs and author of parliamentary reports on Libya, said:

"Salwa Bugaighis, a lawyer and human rights campaigner, is not only an example of resistance and courage in the fight for human rights and democracy – and, most importantly, for the rights of women – she is a also symbol of the tragic downturn that the Libyan revolution has taken and which is jeopardising a transition to democracy and peace. This is a tremendous loss for the Libyan people and especially for Libyan women. Salwa Bugaighis was targeted because she was a tireless defender of women's rights.”

According to figures released by the Libyan High National Election Commission, 45% of the country's registered voters went to vote yesterday throughout Libya, with disruptions occurring in five cities, including in Benghazi.

"The moment is of crucial importance for the future of Libya and of the Libyan people. The European Union, and the rest of the international community engaged in the country, must lend their support to the much-needed institution-building and security-strengthening process to ensure that a peaceful transition can take place. To fail to support Libya in this process in a meaningful and practical way is to doom all prospects of security – not only in the country but for the whole region of the north of Africa – threatening the security of Europe itself", explained Gomes.