UNSMIL Statement on the Continued Enforced Disappearance of House of Representative Member Siham Sergawa
The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) is deeply concerned at the continued enforced disappearance of House of Representatives lawmaker Siham Sergawa. Ms. Sergawa was brutally abducted from her home in Benghazi on 17 July by a unit of gunmen who injured her relative and husband during the abduction.
The recent announcement by an official of the relevant authorities stating that “an unknown group of terrorists may have infiltrated Benghazi and kidnapped Ms. Sergewa,” does not convey any reassurance about the wellbeing and the whereabouts of Ms. Sergawa. In this regard the Mission reiterates its call on these authorities to thoroughly investigate the attack on Ms. Sergewa's residence, her enforced disappearance, and to disclose her whereabouts.
The Mission is highly concerned about the safety and security of Ms. Sergewa and stresses that the relevant authorities are responsible for the safety and security of the people under their territorial control including in this case of prolonged enforced disappearance
Abduction and enforced disappearance, based on political views or affiliations constitute a serious violation of international humanitarian and human rights law.
This case has had a chilling impact on the work of women activists in Libya. UNSMIL stresses that silencing the voices of women in decision-making positions will not be tolerated and reiterates its strong commitment to support the crucial role Libyan women play in peacemaking and peacebuilding and their full participation and involvement in the country’s political life and decision-making.