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Libyan think tank: Political activist Al-Baja and others detained on “toppling army” charges

The Libya Center for Strategic and Future Studies said that the Internal Security Apparatus had detained university professor Fathi Al-Baja, the director of the center’s branch in Benghazi, Siraj Daghman, and political activist Tariq Al-Bashari last Sunday, after asking them to go to one of its offices for investigation.

“The investigation was following a report that they met at the center’s headquarters in Benghazi with the intention of making a change that could lead to the overthrow of the army,” the center said, adding that the allegations were untrue.

The center added that the meeting was to discuss the general situation in Libya, following the floods in Derna and the rest of the cities of Al-Jabal Al-Akhdar, and explained that, since its establishment in 2011, the center had been urging all Libyan and international officials not to underestimate their responsibilities and the danger of negligence, indifference, and failure to observe the principles and rules of public work in managing the country’s affairs.

“The center has done so by expressing its opinion objectively and responsibly and presenting studies and alternative plans to get the country out of its successive crises.” The statement said, calling on the security and relevant authorities to release Al-Baja and the other detained persons, and saying “it’s not in the interest of any party for them to remain in detention, as they are people of thought, opinion, and politics, and dealing with them is through dialogue, discussion, and the exchange of ideas and opinions, especially since everyone’s goal is the stability of Libya, its security and territorial unity.”

Several political parties previously called for, in a joint statement, the immediate release of the three detainees, denouncing “all forms of detentions and arrests outside the legal framework as a blatant violation of political and civil rights and a crime that cannot be justified under any pretext.

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