Libya’s elections in December must mark the beginning of the process towards peace and democratization - a fitting legacy for the murdered activist Salwa Bugaighis.
Activists and politicians from Libya, the Arab region and Europe joined a televised meeting to pay tribute to Salwa Bugaighis on the seventh anniversary of her murder on 25 June 2021.
With the announcement of the Transitional Government of National Unity (GNU) and Berlin II Conference, Libya is heading towards presidential and parliamentary elections on December 24, 2021 pursuant to the Roadmap established by the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LDPF) and security council resolution 2570. Although many unanswered questions regarding the management of an electoral process in Libya remain, the momentum for elections appears to be strong. Libyans are anxious to select their legitimate representatives to move one step closer to a stable and prosperous Libya.
With these promising developments, Karama and the Libyan Women’s Platform for Peace organized a roundtable to reflect on progress. Representatives from the LDPF, women human rights activists, civil society and jurists discussed their concerns, priorities and expectations of what is considered as key in order to hold successful inclusive, free and fair elections which can contribute to a stabilization of the country.
The event was held to commemorate Salwa Bugaighis, lawyer, politician and human rights activist murdered after she cast her vote on the day of the last parliamentary elections to be held in Libya. It was an act that underlined a downwards spiral in security for women activists and human rights defenders to date, and a vicious cycle of impunity for crimes targeting women politicians and human rights defenders. Next month will see the commemoration of the assassination of former Derna House of Representatives member Fariha Al-Berkaw and the violently abduction of the member of Parliament Siham Sergewa from her home in the heavily fortified district of Buhedima in Benghazi. All of this have reinforced the climate of impunity for violence against women who dared to speak out, forcing many to retreat from public life and flee the country.
Seven years later, no one has been held accountable. No justice for these women and other silenced women.