Libyans turn out in hundreds to protest activist's arrest
The protests sweeping the Middle East reached Libya Tuesday night as hundreds turned out in Benghazi, known as a locus for government opposition figures.
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The unrest sweeping across the Middle East reportedly reached the second largest city in Libya on Tuesday night as hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets in a rare display of public protest against the government.
Hundreds of protesters gathered outside a government building in Benghazi to demand the release of human rights lawyer Fethi Tarbel, who had been arrested the day before. Mr. Tarbel had worked to seek the release of those held in the capital city Tripoli's Abu Salim jail, notorious for holding opponents of the government, and many of the demonstrators Tuesday reportedly have relatives at that prison.
While state-owned media did not cover the protest, the privately owned newspaper Quryna (which also has been reported as linked to the son of Libya's leader) reported that demonstrators threw rocks and petrol bombs as they clashed with police."
“Last night was a bad night,” said a witness to the protests in an article by Reuters. Though he reported that it is now calm, he said that last night, “there were about 500 or 600 people involved. They went to the revolutionary committee [local government headquarters] in Sabri district, and they tried to go to the central revolutionary committee.... They threw stones.”
At least 14 people were injured, including 10 police, in the clashes between police and protesters, reports Deutsche Presse-Agentur. In Internet videos of the demonstration, protesters are pictured ripping down pictures of Libya’s leader Muammar Qaddafi and shouting “enough” and “the regime is barbaric, we are not.”