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Personal Account of Algerian Fleeing Tripoli in February
August 13th, 2011
Personal account received by Libya Alhurra
On Sunday 20th of Feb 2011 I was teaching in Tripoli. I finished my classes at 8 00 pm. I was approached by three men in military uniforms, and I was asked to go with them. They called me by my name and were friendly and assured me that they needed my help and that I was recommended. I got into the car ( a gray Hyundai Sonata 2011 with no licence plates). They told me that they will drive me home and on the way they kept giving me details about my life, my parents’ details, jobs, where I’m from originally, my best friends’ names, cars, my cars details, where I hang around and that when I thought i would never see daylight because I knew how the system works there, I was told that I have lived in Libya and its time to pay back or give back the favour. I was told to go home and get ready to leave the next day to destination they would tell me about the next day, they told me it was time i became a Libyan resident as i have lived 25 years there as well as being born in Tripoli. I had to get a personal photo to put on the Libyan ID they were gonna give me the next day, and they gave me an envelope with 2000 Libyan dinars to give to my parents.
I refused to take the money. I kept saying let me think about it, and the man at the back seat next to me who appeared to be the highest ranked among them told me that this would be considered high treason. They dropped me home. That night I couldnt sleep, eat or talk to anyone, knowing that they are surveilling the phone lines, I even thought about going to the Algerian embassy but then they are pro-Gadaffi and they would deliver me on a silver plate to the Libyan army. The next day, in the morning, they were waiting for me and from their behaviour I realized that someone I knew recommended me because they were acting nicer than they are supposed to. They asked to get into the car and took me to Mitiga airport. On the way they asked me about my language skills and that I just have to translate to some construction workers in Ajdabya what to do. When we got to Mitiga airport, they blind-folded me and I was driven to “Mathaba Thowrya” where his millitias prove their loyalty, and thats where I got traumatized. I’m sure it was in “ain zara” area in Musa Kusa’s office buildings. I was taken to an office and asked for my clothes sizes and shoe size, and in the other offices I could hear screaming. I told the officer that I’m not a soldier and that I can’t carry weapons because I was a coward and that I can’t even see blood or I’ll faint. The officer changed tone and slapped me and I was dragged by two officers to a cell where there were a lot of men CRYING from pain. One of them was Algerian and told me the offer, you should give in your passport, they handle you 500 euros and an AK47 with 6 magazines, you get in a Toyota Tundra with another foreigner and two Libyan soldiers, the driver MUST be Libyan, you get 100 LYD for every “traitor” you gun down and 300 LYD if you capture him alive. If a patrol manages to get more than 15 cadavers they give you 2000 LYD bonus. I was taken back to the office after a few hours and another officer showed me a small safe with hundreds of thousands of Euros. He told me that I can be a respected citizen with a rank and insurance and other privileges. I kept repeating that I’m not a soldier and I kept mentioning powerful family names to show that I’m well connected. He completely ignored all I said saying.
I was driven home, and on the way I kept trying to convince the officers in the car to take me out of this mess. The one in the back seat got really angry and started hitting me with a taser, telling me that we foreigners are dogs and we know nothing but taking Libyan money. When we got to my area the driver told me to be there at 8 00 am sharp and if I don’t my family will disappear, so i went home. I didn’t inform anyone I packed a backpack and got to a friend’s home in the airport road. I hid in his house for three days, and after a week I left Libya with help from airport officers to go past the thousands of millitias around. The mercenaries were not brought from abroad, they chose foreigners who speak Libyan perfectly and cant be noticed as not. As I mentioned you give in your passport, and get paid 500 euros as an engagement payment, 100 lyd for every head and 300 lyd for getting one alive. I met a man called Mohamed Hnish and he is the son of Gadaffis driver and he asked me to join them 2 days before I left, so the details are confirmed, and with every city that falls they execute those mercenaries to get rid of evidence.
(Other Selected Translations are available here)