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The building housing Libya's oil state energy firm, the National Oil Corporation (NOC), is seen in Tripoli, Libya February 22, 2016. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny

NOC rejects unlawful detention of board member Shengheer at Mitiga airport

In a strongly worder statement yesterday, Libya’s state National Oil Corporation (NOC) rejected yesterday’s unlawful detention of its board member Abulgasem Shengheer at Mitiga Airport.

Here is the full statement:

”A systematic war is being waged by a coalition of militias, smugglers, corrupt figures or politicians, ideologies and stakeholders, against the National Oil Corporation (NOC) in order to blackmail, infiltrate, politicize and redirect it from the neutral position it has maintained over the past years for the benefit all Libyans.

Abulgasem Shengheer, who is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Oil Corporation, was stopped at Mitiga Airport while returning from a trip abroad with his family. The procedure by which he was stopped was arbitrary, inappropriate and in a manner that failed to reach the expected level of responsibility while dealing with a public and national figure.

After being informed of the situation, the NOC communicated with all parties on the ground and expressed it’s complete and categorical rejection of allowing such irresponsible acts to take place against any person from the oil sector, and that their occurrence indicates a state of confusion and chaos in the country with a failure to follow official procedures.

Accordingly, the NOC called on the Presidential Council, the Government of National Unity and the Office of the Attorney General, to take all legal measures and not to allow such instances to continue.

The NOC also calls on the United Nations, Amnesty International and human rights organizations to intervene immediately and secure the urgent release of Mr. Shengheer, as well as holding those involved responsible for his safe return to his family as soon as possible and unconditionally.

The National Oil Corporation also notes its deep concern regarding repeated actions carried out by militias that abuse policies regarding arbitrary and unofficial arrests of public figures, which may have serious repercussions on the conduct of operations in the oil sector. The NOC confirms it’s firm stance against the drainage of bank credits that were granted to a certain category of the population that benefits from the price of 1.4 Libyan Dinar for a US Dollar and calls for matters to be corrected. The NOC also maintains it’s position in combating smuggling and proceeds having cooperation with the Public Prosecution Office to pursue smugglers both domestically and internationally. It is this stance that has fueled an unlawful alliance of forces with their repeated attempts to undermine NOC in various ways.

The NOC stresses that it reserves the legal right to defend itself and its employees in accordance with local and international law. Laws which prohibit any party from arresting, extorting, detaining or arbitrarily hold a NOC Board Member outside their bounds and the NOC will take all necessary measures against the perpetrators of these acts.”

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