Libya asks Lebanon to release Hannibal Qaddafi from detention

Son of former ruler Muammar Qaddafi has been on hunger strike since June in protest at eight years in captivity

Lebanon accuses Hannibal Qaddafi of hiding information about the 1978 disappearance of a Lebanese Shiite cleric in Libya. AP
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A top Libyan official has formally asked Lebanon to release Hannibal Qaddafi – the son of former Libyan ruler Muammar Qaddafi – who has been held in the country since 2015.

Hannibal Qaddafi's health has deteriorated since he began a hunger strike on June 3 over his continued detention without trial.

He has been taken to hospital at least three times since he started refusing food, his lawyer in Lebanon has said.

Libya's Attorney General Siddiq Al Sour sent a request earlier this month to his Lebanese counterpart, Ghassan Oueidat, regarding Hannibal Qaddafi, AP reported.

Lebanon accused Hannibal Qaddafi of concealing information about the fate of Imam Musa Al Sadr, a Lebanese Shiite cleric who disappeared while on a trip to Libya in 1978.

Hannibal Qaddafi, who was two years old at the time, maintains his innocence and says he is a victim of injustice.

Mr Al Sour's letter asked why Hannibal Qaddafi was being held and asked that he be either handed over to Libya or be allowed to return to Syria.

He had been living in exile in Syria with his Lebanese wife, Aline Skaf, and children until he was abducted and brought to Lebanon eight years ago.

He was later handed over to Lebanese authorities by a local armed group.

Hannibal Qaddafi fled Libya in 2011 during the uprising against his father, who had ruled Libya with an iron fist for 42 years. Muammar Qaddafi was killed by rebels that year.

Syrian authorities had criticised Hannibal Qaddafi’s abduction “by an armed gang” and have been demanding he be returned to Syria.

Mr Sadr, who Libya said left the country safely in 1978, is widely believed to have been killed shortly after his disappearance.

He also founded the Amal Movement, which – along with Iran-backed Hezbollah – dominates Shiite Muslim politics in Lebanon.

Amal is led by long-time Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri.

Updated: August 15, 2023, 10:06 AM