Muslim militia men, taking advantage of prevailing lawlessness in post-Gaddafi Libya, have revived the practice of administering lashings to those they rule have transgressed the laws of Islam, Al-Arabiya reported.
A news story that aired on Al-Arabiya TV on March 15 and was transcribed and translated this week by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which monitors Arab language broadcasts, shows “criminals” strapped to a post and being publicly beaten by bearded men in the Libyan town of Sirte.
“The crime of this Libya citizen living in Sirte is unknown,” the news presenter says, over the wails of a man being beaten, noting that though local law permits administering lashings, “especially in crimes of fornication,” corporal punishment has not been widely implemented in Libya for decades.
“The locals say that the men who carry out these extrajudicial punishments belong to Ansar al-Sharia, which thrives in Sirte, where Al-Qadhafi [sic] was born. They exploit the security void and the absence of the authorities to implement the rulings of the shari’a, without bothering to resort to the courts,” the report noted.
Muammar Gaddafi was ousted from office and later killed two years ago following a brief, but bloody civil war. The fall of the dictator, who ruled the country for decades, led to a breakdown of government, leaving militias free to do as they wish.