The story of a Libyan soldier who stood up to Islamist fighters even as they were about to kill him has posthumously won him the pride and adoration of his nation.
A video emerged on Monday showing Suleiman al Huti moments before his execution by militants in 2015.
Rather than plead for his life, al Huti is seen defiantly demanding that the Islamists fight him honorably. The young soldier had been taken prisoner during a battle between government and Daesh troops in the al-Laithi area of Bengahzi, according to al-Arabiya English.
In the heartbreaking clip, his calls are met with a volley of expletives and a fatal shot from the militants who took the footage. Al Huti’s death, his killers pronounce in the video, was “in retaliation for [the death of] a rebel element of the Shura Council of Benghazi,” who was killed by the Libyan army.
For a country that continues to face factional fighting, political disunity and the ongoing Islamist menace, the footage has offered a collective symbol of hope. The hashtag “just let it be honorable”, referencing al Huti’s last words, has set Libyan social media alight following the release of the video.
لم يكن طلباً أو رجاءً إنما كانت نصيحة لمن لا شرف لهم #خلو_فيها_شرف_بس— عبدالباسط بن هامل (@bnhamel1) February 7, 2017
It wasn’t a demand or a request but rather a piece of advice for those who have no honor.
The heroic story of Suleiman al Huti emerged from among tens of heroic stories about the heroes of the armed forces that were hidden by terrorist groups.
طلب الموت بشرف ممن لا شرف لهم او عزة او ذرة رجولة .. يختبئون وراء تحريف الدين وفي الظلال خائفين من نهايتهم التي أقتربت جدا#خلو_فيها_شرف_بس— Abdulrahman Ghummied (@AGhummied) February 6, 2017
He requested an honorable death from those who have no honor morality or even a grain of masculinity... They act according to the distortion of religion and exist in the shadows, scared of their end, which is coming closer.
The hashtag trended at number one in the country, even capturing the attention of the British Ambassador to Libya:
Libyan troops continue to battle various Islamist groups, as ongoing political division plagues the North African nation, six years on from the bloody overthrow of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
On Twitter, one Libyan soldier suggested that al Huti's courage will offer a beacon of much-needed hope to troops. Mohammed Rouissi wrote: "Yes, and I say it loud and clear, we shall continue our war against terrorism. We will not surrender or give up, and we are confident in the capacity of our armed forces."
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