last edits Oct 14
I know little about the man I would kindly ask (via this post only, for now) Human Rights Groups, and/or the Libyan government in Tripoli, and/or the man himself, to make public the current status of. I wonder about Dr. Mohammed Sabril and, in fact, all of the exceptional people spoken to in this rare Sky News report from, I think, a couple months back:
(not available on Sky's channel)
They fled from either the Benghazi area or the Nafusah mountains, having to take circuitous routes to avoid rebel controllers who'd likely arrest them for defecting from under their control (another video covers this aspect better - link when I come across it again). They were living then in a government-run shelter in Tripoli, all for the moment clearly relieved to be safe among their own kind. Several shared stories of violence, killing, and disappearances of loyalists like themselves, a sense of repression and a need to hide, and constant fear of unpredictable violence. "Persecuted for their beliefs," as the reporter put it.
Since then, the rebels have caught up to them and taken Tripoli too, leaving nowhere else to run from them except overseas. One wonders how they're adjusting, and how suddenly they were forced to.
The doctor interviewed here isn't named, but the info below gives the name I use. He also spoke to Russia Today (cited in a video of mine at 7:00), giving his name there as Dr. Sabri, formerly a surgeon at Benghazi's al-Jalaa hospital. That facility came into rebel hands somehow in the early days; there were reports this happened after its managing director was killed on February 18, day three of "protests," his body tortured (see: Video Study: Hospital Brutality).
|Dr. Sabri, Sky News|
He reflected for Sky's camera "if I had known our hospital in Benghazi would become a machine of killing, to save him, maybe I - I [inaudible, choking up].
Some would be tempted to dismiss this as loyalist propaganda, but we've seen plenty of precedent, before then and since (see also the aftermath of their first day managing Abu Salim trauma hospital) and similar treatment in the same exact hospital (see either link in the second paragraph). The latter is apparently a different incident from what Sabri described, another among probably several episodes of cruelty at that one hospital. There, a bloodied black patient who can barely stand up is chased and dragged out of the hospital and repeatedly kicked, stomped, and hacked with machetes by a casually enraged crowd. It's not clear if he survived or not.
So this was serious shit the doctor and many others witnessed, and some number participated in. And he ran way from it, showing a suspicious bad faith in rebel management, possible Gaddafi loyalty, and certainly a desire to make them look bad to the world. He's surely not popular with the new government in Tripoli. He has been fully open and made himself easy enough to identify. And well... I for one am curious if he's still alive and free, or has he disappeared, or faced any unfair reprisals for acting on his fears and then his conscience? I'd like to see him interviewed again.
The same question applies to many, many thousands of others I haven't had pop to my attention like this.
Any further notes on Dr.Sabri, the Jalaa hospital, etc. will be posted below.
Oct. 13/14 - name update: I started this post referring to a "Dr. Sabri," as RT had it, but as Felix alerts me, I didn't read the full description beneath the Youtube video of Sky News. It's also on their site, and apparently gives his name. Presumably from the original report, it says in part:
...a doctor who had also fled from Benghazi. Dr Sabril Mohammed said he feared for his life and his family's lives after witnessing the killing of a Libyan soldier. He said he treated a soldier who came in with superficial head wounds. He said the soldier was transferred to another hospital and then he was attacked and his throat was cut. Fighting back tears the doctor told us: "They tried to kill me because I tried to protect my patients. I left Benghazi because I treated all patients including soldiers."So there's some ambiguity; it seems one of the two got the name wrong. For now I'm going with RT, but it could be the other way around. And there's some ambiguity about where the killing happened - in front of ICU or at another hospital. There's also another Dr. Sabri Mohammed, rebel doctor it seems by his calls for foreign air support, in Ajdabiya, interviewed by PBS in early March and some other sources. This is a different, younger man on-screen.