As Libyans prepare to go to the polls this weekend for the first post-Gadhafi vote, the public rhetoric from the National Transitional Council (NTC) is all about the milestone and the transformative power of democracy.
Perhaps the biggest indicator of where Libya is going as a nation isn’t being talked about so much. On the outskirts of Tajura the NTC is throwing massive amounts of money (an estimated $40 million, enormous given their limited budget) building a major new prison.
A massive complex, “not for common criminals,” but rather to deal with the various collections of “detainees” held for political reasons by the assorted militias across the nation.
This round of elections is to appoint the General National Congress, putting together the interim government and preparing a panel to draft a new constitution for the country.
After the elections, it is likely that new classes of Libyans, who backed the losing sides in the election, will also find themselves under scrutiny for disloyalty and subject to such open-ended captivity. At least the reports are that the cells are spacious.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Red Cross to Send 'Test Shipment' of Rice to Northern Yemen - August 16th, 2017
- Report: Saudis Increasing Yemen Airstrikes, Killing More Civilians - August 16th, 2017
- US: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain Fail to Respect Religious Freedom - August 16th, 2017
- In US-Backed Kurdish Invasion of Raqqa, Arab Allies Struggle to Find a Role - August 16th, 2017
- Syria Shifts War Focus to ISIS-Held Eastern Territory - August 16th, 2017