Several Thousand Libyans Protest against Lockerbie Verdict
Three Libyans slashed their throats Saturday as several thousands took to the streets of Tripoli to protest against a Libyan's conviction in the Lockerbie bombing, reported AFP.
Protesting in front of the UN office in Tripoli, three angry demonstrators took razors to their necks and were taken away by an ambulance. Their conditions were not immediately known, said the agency.
The demonstrators, who included students, lawyers and government officials, chanted against US "blackmail" and the "unjust verdict against our compatriot," yelling "Allah Akbar!"
"We will not bow before American desires, and we demand compensation for the victims of the American attack against our people in April 1986," said one banner.
A Scottish court in The Netherlands on Wednesday jailed one Libyan defendant for life and cleared another over the 1988 bombing of a US airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland that killed 270 people.
The United States and Britain insist sanctions should remain on Libya until Tripoli compensates the victims' families.
A lawyer representing the 150 families has said they are seeking about one billion dollars.
But Libyan leader Muammar Kadhafi said Thursday that Libya will not pay compensation for the families of the Lockerbie victims, and insisted that the convicted Libyan national Abdul Basset Megrahi is innocent. He said that he has evidence to prove that and will reveal it on Monday.
The leader’s remarks came as he received the acquitted co-defendant, Al Amin Khalifa Fhima, upon his arrival to Tripoli from Camp Zeist where the trial was taking place.
Fhima, 44, received a hero’s welcome, said BBC.online, when he set foot on Libyan soil for the first time in nearly two years after being found not guilty at the end of the nine-month trial. The BBC radio broadcasted Kadhafi’s remarks in which he accused the US of placing pressure on the court.
At the Arab level, the Arab League led the call Thursday for a lifting of sanctions on Libya following the verdict in the Lockerbie bombing trial.
China, Egypt, Italy, Spain and former South African Nelson Mandela also voiced support for an end to the sanctions, as France decided on a wait-and-see approach.
"The Security Council must take immediate steps to permanently lift the sanctions imposed on Libya," said Esmat Abdel Meguid, secretary general of the 22-member Arab League, which includes Libya.
Abdel Meguid said he will study steps to lift the sanctions when he meets next week in New York with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and with the chair of the Security Council, currently Arab League member Tunisia -- Albawaba.com
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