Libyans and others arrested for a recent batch of violent attacks upon foreigners will soon stand trial, Libyan Justice Minister Abdel Rahman al-Abbar vowed Monday.
Seventy-five people, the majority of whom are Libyan, will be brought to trial for the deaths of six foreigners during riots last September that caused 33,000 black Africans to flee Libya, Abbar told a press conference.
"There will be public trials in the coming days to punish those implicated in these events. It is a matter of our honor and our national security," said Abbar.
He added that the six dead consisted of a Libyan, two Nigerians, a Sudanese, and two Chadians. The fighting, which occurred in the town of Zawiyah, 40 kilometers (25 miles) west of Tripoli, had begun when a Libyan tried to stop two Sudanese from raping his sister.
The minister emphasized that Libya still welcomed its ties with black Africa. "More than two million black Africans of different nationalities live side by side with the Libyan people without any incidents," he said.
He blasted the Western media for exploiting the episode and alleged that there had "been an invisible hand responsible for the violence."
Thousands of Africans have left Libya since the rioting. Upon returning to their home countries, some have said that dozens of people died in the violence.
Abbar expressed regret for such allegations and warned Libya's former guests that it "is not right to treat the country that welcomes you in such a way" -- TRIPOLI (AFP)
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