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Rights group demands safe return of abducted Libyan lawmaker

Forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar are fighting the internationally recognized government over control of Tripoli. (File/AFP)
Human Rights Watch is urging authorities in eastern Libya to exert “all possible efforts” to ensure the safe return of a female lawmaker abducted from her home last month by armed men.

The lawmaker, Seham Sirqiwa, is a prominent critic of Khalifa Haftar, whose forces are now fighting to take the capital from the UN-backed government in Tripoli.

The New York-based watchdog said Friday that Sergewa’s abduction “follows a well-documented pattern of violence, reprisal, and intimidation” by Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army.

Sergewa’s family and friends allege she was taken from her house in Benghazi by militiamen affiliated with Haftar’s forces. Her husband was wounded during the attack.

Libya slid into chaos after the 2011 uprising and is now split between rival authorities in the country’s east and west.