UNSMIL, US call for investigation into death of activist in Rajma detention

Apr 21, 2024 | International actors

On 21 April, UNSMIL said it was deeply saddened by the death of activist Siraj Dughman while in custody at Rajma military camp. The mission urged authorities ‘to conduct a transparent and independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death’ and called for the immediate and unconditional release of all arbitrarily detained individuals, including those detained with Dughman. It stressed that Dughman, alongside Fathi al-Baaja, Tarek al-Bishari, Salem Laaribi and Naser Daaessi, was arbitrarily arrested and detained in 2023. They were never formally charged or appeared in court.

The US reiterated these calls for an investigation, emphasizing ‘the need for due process and rule of law throughout Libya, and urge the swift release of all arbitrarily detained persons.’ Other European embassies have also echoed these calls. Libyan Crime Watch (LCW) called for an independent investigation into Dughman’s ‘mysterious’ death and holding those responsible accountable.

Benghazi’s Internal Security Agency (ISA) claimed that Dughman died of a fatal fall from a height while attempting to escape through a bathroom window. It said Dughman had been detained in legal custody ‘in accordance with human rights standards’. It also said it would pursue all ‘funded pages aimed at spreading rumours to conceal facts and sow discord for the benefit of their financiers.’