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Haftar will tighten political space in eastern Libya

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Significance

She had openly accused members of eastern Libyan leader Khalifa Haftar’s family of corruption the day before. The incident is a reminder not only that security challenges remain in the city but also that those who criticise the status quo there can be targeted for abduction and assassination.

Impacts

  • The assassination challenges Haftar’s narrative that Benghazi is safe under his forces’ control.
  • Such incidents may deter foreign investors currently being courted for reconstruction efforts.
  • Barassi’s slaying will further shrink the space for critical civil society voices in eastern Libya.
  • Killing women is a particular taboo in Libya and the fact that her tribe could not protect her suggests the breakdown of social norms.
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