The “two Libias” of Haftar and Serraj jointly defend Benghazi’s football players – smugglers

The shipowners and family members of the 18 Sicilian fishermen now segregated in a Benghazi house by Khalifa Haftar’s militias, opposed to those of Fayez al-Sarraj, the premier based in Tripoli with the UN-recognized government would not want to hear about the exchange of hostages . But this age-old issue culminated two weeks ago with the seizure of two fishing boats from Mazara del Vallo accused of having violated Libyan waters, albeit very far from the coast, it risks taking a bad turn. For the entry on the scene of relatives, friends and fans of 4 Libyans who left Benghazi in 2015, sentenced to 20 and 30 years in prison in Catania as murderers and migrant traffickers, now listed as victims of a sensational judicial error “because they are only players in search of fortune”.

Thesis supported not only by Haftar’s entourage, but also by circles close to Prime Minister al-Sarraj since to define i 4 as innocent attackers and medians would be the Libyan embassy in Rome and the consulate in Palermo, according to Cinzia Pecoraro, the lawyer involved in the defense simultaneously from Tripoli and Benghazi. Prove that the celcium can become an opportunity for unity even on the front of a long internal war.

While the family members of the 18 fishermen, who have had no news for two weeks, watched this strange game in dismay, the lawyer limited herself to seeing what happened, certain of the innocence of the four: “I only know that the relatives of the players contact me through the official channels. And that in this case the whole of Libya defends a player like Abdelkarim Alla F. Hamad, also referred to by the nickname of Abdel-Monsef. As can be seen from acts underestimated by the Italian judges ». And he shows the certificate of his formation and the photos of the attacker inserted as halfback in “Al-Ahly Bengasi”, competing with “Al-Ahly Tripoli” in the Libyan Premier League. Certificate signed for «El Alhy Club» by executive director Ibrahim Salem Almagribi. In the same conditions, the other 20-year-olds Joma Tarek Laamami, Abd Arahman Abd Al Monsiff and Mohannad Jarkess, the only one born in Syria, all also condemned for having bolted the hatch of a sunken boat with 49 migrants locked in the hold. A horror that is remembered as “the massacre of August”. History of 2015. Trials in two cases not yet reached the Supreme Court. With the Libyans hoping for a revision. Or at least in a reversal of the proceedings not yet finalized. This is the hope of Cinzia Pecoraro, on positions opposite to those of the Catania prosecutor Carmelo Zuccaro, certain of responsibility. «But the magistrates i have read telephone messages on file?She asks. “There are emblematic ones:”Nontell my mother that I left by boat… “,” My parents: leave with a visa, the sea no no … “. They are not smugglers, but migrants transformed by traffickers into helpers, as happens on all boats. Not criminals. Not a knife, not a stick. There will be a judge in Rome who will understand … ».

This is the point of relatives who, meanwhile, invoke Haftar not to free the Sicilian fishermen until the same happens for the condemned. Request that terrifies the families of Mazara, as the owner Leonardo Gangitano repeats: “Delete the word hostages. Nobody officially from Benghazi uses it. And we don’t have to use it in Italy. We need to have confidence so that Libya will return husbands, fathers and children who left here only to work ».

September 14, 2020 (change September 15, 2020 | 16:22)

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