Warning: This site contains images and graphic descriptions of extreme violence and/or its effects. It's not as bad as it could be, but is meant to be shocking. Readers should be 18+ or a mature 17 or so. There is also some foul language occasionally, and potential for general upsetting of comforting conventional wisdom. Please view with discretion.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Early March 2011 - a sudden and extraordinary burst of kidnappings. (Alleged)

by Felix
I had been meaning to publish a list of alleged kidnappings in March 2011 shortly before the no-fly zone was imposed by the UN. As ever they are only sourced from one side and often rely on extraordinary stories which don't quite seem to stand up to analysis. Obviously, kidnappings or alleged kidnappings (even faked kidnappings) are symptomatic of a naughty government which NATO requires to be demonised,and is grist to the mill. This post will be added to case by case. The reasons behind the kidnappings, even more so, the curious release of the journalists, photographers, dissidents never seemed to arouse comment. What is the purpose of kidnapping? The victim normally is exchanged for something or somebody, or killed.
First up...
The Sweheli family. [thanks to Petri] for this pointer
This is the same Misrata family whose member Abdul Rahman Swehli (variants : Abdulrahman, Abdurrahman, Suwehli, Sewehli,Suwehli) is founder and leader of the Union for [the] Homeland a party or alternatively a coalition of parties which , which won the most votes in Misrata in the bogus July elections in Libya. The composition of the coalition is shrouded in mystery - not to be confused with the islamist Homeland or Al-Watan party which is led by Belhaj. Over 100 candidates for 4 seats is pretty standard...what a farce. Anyway.....
My fears for family kidnapped by Gaddafi’s henchmen [Telegraph, March 5 2011]: British psychiatric doctor from Manchester,Ahmed Swehli said said his father Abdurrahman and three of his brothers Khaleel, Mohammed, and Shtewi were arrested in Tripoli last week by armed security agents.
The raids came shortly after they had had urged Libyans to join anti-regime demonstrations. [Tripoli resident Khalil Sewehli says he is preparing to protest in the capital in an attempt to bring an end to the regime of Libya's Colonel,Feb 25 2011 - like announcing it to the world Khaleel, 31, had given a telephone interview ten days ago to BBC Radio Five, saying Gaddafi should go if Libyans demanded it....During the recent unrest he [the father] became a figurehead for the Libyan rebels, regularly appearing on Al Jazeera and Western television networks to denounce his former classmate [Moammar Gaddafi].
At 1.15am [Monday Feb 28] his father telephoned to tell him that two of his sons had been arrested [Khaleel and Mohammed]...but he went back with my brother, Shtewi, and was waiting to be taken. [smart move,that] He said if he didn’t pick up the phone in the morning to fear the worse. When I called later he didn’t pick up, and I knew what had happened.”

The first report,though, whch I find was on Feb 3 2011, a day earlier in Europe.
A phone call with ABC Australia, that's what. "And now that Gaddafi's regime was coming to an end he didn't mind dying " [crazy, actually]. Even crazier:(translated: I'm a shrink and I know a mad man when I see one [Gaddafi]): "I mean I am a psychiatrist and, but it doesn't need a psychiatrist to show that at the very least Gaddafi is a psychopath because he doesn't care about whether other people are hurt or killed. I don't think he has any feelings about that whatsoever. And he may indeed be delusional and feel that the whole, you know the whole of the Libyan nation is with him. However he's a very shrewd and intelligent man at the same time. But you know, a psychopath at that." [That will be 200 guineas please]
More details are woven into another call with the (strange) station of choice,ABC Australia: Gaddafi releases kidnapped Libyan teenager but not father and brothers, March 9 (8 in Europe) - they're all in the Bab Al-Aziziya compound , of course.
ELEANOR HALL: Why do you think that Gaddafi forces did release your youngest brother? AHMED SEWEHLI: Yeah, that's something that the family, we've been thinking about< br/> Not very convincing. Er, so what happened exactly? Big news story??
On March 14 HRW reported the same story. Fast forward to March 26, when Ahmed, who works in Blackpool, tells BBC Manchester that he has not spoken to his 19-year-old brother Mohammed much since his release, as he fears the phone lines are being monitored by the Libyan authorities.
Not much??? Or not at all??
"The people who released him know where he lives, they know where my mum lives, they could decide to take him again whenever they want to, "
Pointless. Well, quietly slipped into an interview with ABC's Eleanor Hall again on May 24, this time about horrific rapes (alleged) in Libya, that "[my brother] has told me of some of the things that happened to him. He was beaten up, because he was kidnapped before my father, he was interrogated, asked where his father was. He was getting very little water, he was blindfolded, of course he was never charged."Now, what I can tell you is that approximately two weeks ago that third brother, along with the rest of my family, have actually come to the UK." [Not the father & 2 brothers I gather]
do you know actually where they are ?

Radio 5 Live is a funny old very British radio station to ring up for a chat. And Ahmed's own article in the Guardian ,It's late, but the UN resolution gives hope to Libyans, March 18 (thank's Guardian, thanks NATO) points to a purpose in the kidnapping story.
It seems the release was quietly slipped into an Al-Jazeera page, captured at Democratic Underground with no further elucidation, no reasons,and subsequently removed from the Al-Jazeera website.: "freedom fighters were able to free my father, Dr Abdurrahman Sewehli (PhD in engineeering, UK) and my 2 brothers from their 3 months of captivity in Tripoli under Gaddafi's forces." So the mystery remains
Dr Ahmed Sewehli was in Misrata throughout July and early August 2011
Nothing further until...his father starts blogging in September 2011, viz an interview with Al-Alamat online, Sept 14 By then the father was well on the way to having his own political party
Is the man in this video,http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACg9LcvjI7c, calling himself Mohamed Shtewi the same as Shtewi Sewehli, investigating a yard similar to Yarmouk where he asserts he was tortured?
Three BBC journalists (well, one actually,plus one photographer and one security/special services man) arrested and kidnapped. Feras Kilani, Goktay Koraltan and Chris Cobb-Smith, at a checkpoint 6 miles south of Zawiyah, afternoon of 7 March 2011.
This has been discussed elsewhere References: CNN, 9 March (release) http://articles.cnn.com/2011-03-09/world/libya.bbc.journalists_1_beatings-execution-journalists?_s=PM:WORLD
"The former Barton Peveril student was captured at a checkpoint with his colleagues, Feras Killani, a Palastinian reporter with a Syrian passport and Goktay Koraltan, a Turkish cameraman and their local driver. But Chris had managed to hide his phone and was able to get a call out to the BBC saying he and his colleague were in trouble and needed help. He said: "We were lined up against the wall. I was the last in line - facing the wall. I looked and I saw a plain-clothes guy with a small sub-machine gun. He put it to everyone's neck. I saw him and he screamed at me "Then he walked up to me, put the gun to my neck and pulled the trigger, twice. The bullets whisked past my ear. The soldiers just laughed. Now it just feels like a bad dream." The trio were held for 21 hours, moved to various locations, before they were released and they have since left Libya. "
No reason given for the release.
Guardian with video http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/09/bbc-staff-arrest-torture-libya
A very detailed narrative which points to the Khamis compound apart from a steel cage in the centre which is significantly NOT described as a mobile blue prison wagon.
"It also offers the first real eyewitness depiction of conditions endured by those arrested by the regime, including those whose only crime has been to talk to foreign journalists [timely] ...."I thought it was a good sign we were going to a legitimate barracks,"[Cobb-Smith] er, why? Vivid descriptions of beatings are offered by Cobb-Smith and Kilani
Austrian report with photo. Released the next day, around lunchtime, Tuesday March 8: http://www.freemedia.at/home/singleview/article/bbc-team-detained-and-tortured-by-gaddafis-forces.html
BBC report: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12695134
BBC Transcript of interview: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12695138
BBC with additional quote by Koraltan and podcast interview with Cobb-Smithhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12695077
As the Christian Science Monitor peceptively noted, the BBC interview was the only one which all three made. Smart. Keep the narrative short and narrow.
"...it was suddenly all over. They took us to their rest room. It was a charm offensive, packets of cigarettes, tea, coffee, offers of food."[Cobb-Smith] A curious ending. Wyre Davies of the BBC was also in Tripoli at the time and also relayed the story via the BBC
Ghaith Abdul-Ahad and Andrei Netto Guardian reporter, Iraq born Ghaith Abdul-Ahad and a Brazillian reporter Andrei Netto who was travelling with him, disappeared from Zawiyah in late February 2011. .


  1. Good stuff. You'll want good sub-divisions if this expands to cover other cases. Many interesting stories exist, I'm sure. One thing I think happened quite a bit was people doubling themselvesup - running off to fight with the rebels, and also (reportedly) disappearing into Gaddafi prison to create more sob-stories.

    In other cases, people probably were rounded up. Considering what the rebels were doing, what wasn't known about their plans and numbers, if I was Libya at the time, I'd be casting a wide net (but by no means being harsh on every "fish" that winds up in it)

    In other cases, the rebels might've offed people they thought would be trouble, and even made up stories to the opposite effect. We can only make guesses, and those case-by-case.

    The pictures of the Swehlis at the ABC article, always down on the left, are useful. A crafty clan, it looks like.

  2. I noted a very early comment by Ahmed at the foot of the extremely prompt report in the Times of Malta about the fake defection of the Libyan Pilots.:

    Ahmed Sewehli

    Feb 22nd 2011, 02:53 [working nights at the hospital? in the US? Or just up all night?]

    "I'm a British-Libyan doctor in Manchester who spent a lovely 2 years at St Edwards College VI form.[Malta] My family are protesting in Tripoli. The end is very near, but the death toll will be huge. I thank the Maltese people for letting the planes land, please accept more planes if they come your way to prevent further bloodshed."
    A further note is added on March 5,02.56 hrs, with the kidnap story. Release of one brother allows the story to unfold to the press. Not sensible really.

  3. Interesting comment from beezer60 on the Guardian forum answering a query about Cobb-Smith from someone who wante to know why the BBC's Jeremy Bowen at News at Ten only interviewed Koralan and Kilany.
    Chris Cobb-Smith is from Amnesty International
    Correction. He's not from Amnesty. He's a minder.

    So not from the BBC. and not a journalist, as we knew anyway.

  4. why the BBC's Jeremy Bowen .....

    BBC's Jeremy Bowen was an enthusiastic spreader of the Zawiya massacre rumor :

    tweeters on the same subject :

    Mar 7 - 6:27 PM @RRowleyTucson confirms that Al Jazeera has a caller from Azawiya who says the city has been shelled and bombed to the ground and is no more. Horrifying...
    Abdul Jabbar al-Zawi reports to @BBCWorld that "the bombardment [in Zawiya] is still ongoing, yet the youths have returned to the square and regained control of it. The youths are still in control of the city."

    guardian : Libya uprising :remembering the Zawiyah massacre !!

    The main course of the zawiya tale :
    Dr Mohammed takes us back to the scene of a brutal assault on Zawiyah, on the outskirts of Tripoli, where an estimated 600 ..

    people are believed to have been killed by the Gaddafi regime.

    Dr Mohammed became famous for anonymously speaking to the international media during the bloody weekend of 4 March to 7 March 2011

    check farj murabit @ 0.52, speaking english as a native speaker

    1. Canadians,Hurriya.

      Hey, read this blog page from Sharron Ward, :
      Filming the accidental actvists, 8 July 2012 . Accidental my foot! Paragraph on the Murabits. BTW that massacre on the bridge video looks pretty fake to me.
      An integral part of the Guardian propaganda machine..key perp.http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/sharron-ward

  5. Ahmed Sewehli :
    Why is the world watching a [regime] massacre its own people?

    Ahmed Sewehli :to show that at the very least Gaddafi is a psychopath because he doesn't care about whether other people are hurt or killed.

    amazing how the libiyans speak fluent english nowadays!





    NATO's cutting throats, slaughters, beheadings in Libya - Graphic - Rebels exposed



    9700 air strikes by NATO

    But for Libyans, it has meant a loss of ownership of their own future and the effective imposition of a western-picked administration of Gaddafi defectors and US and British intelligence assets

  6. Dr Ahmed Sewehli says : systematic rape beyond Misrata - Full interview


    In newer blogs 8000 women are raped and dr Dr Ahmed Sewehli,Head, Misrata Psychiatry Team,Misrata, Libya, urge :
    Do please ensure that you coordinate all mental health work in Misratah with Dr Ahmed.

  7. Dr Ahmed Sewehli Head, Misrata Psychiatry Team Misrata, Libya

    Dr Ahmed Sewehli, a spokesman for Libyan Doctors Relief,



    Mar 7 - 2:32
    Dr. Ahmed Sewehli, a spokesman for Libyan Doctors Relief, has told @BBCWorld that Libyan authorities are not allowing doctors and medical supplies over the western border.

    "It is quite bewildering... not allowing his own people to be treated for the injuries that of course he and his regime have been causing."

    1. Ahmed Sewehli :

      On 2 March a human rights group declared that 6,000 people
      had been killed in the crackdown on protesters.

      If we were to put this number in relative terms to the population of Britain, it is the equivalent of 60,000 lives lost (Libya has a population of approximately 6 million).

  8. other Sewehli heroes :


    Bashir Sewehli-Aljazeera- on the death of Gaddafi's son

    Bashir Sewehli-A Libyan Political Activist whose family was arrested in Tripoli, talking on Aljazeera English about the claimed death of Gaddafi's son and grandchildren, and explains the struggle for freedom in Libya...


    August 23, 2011,Bashir Sewehli, a Libyan activist, told Al Jazeera English a few minutes ago that the rebel Transitional National Council now claim to have captured three of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi̢۪s sons: Seif al-Islam, Saadi and Muhammad.


    @ 0.13 Farj Swehli, commander Misrata brigades


    although here on photo it seems another one than in the vid above with same name :
    The commander of the Libyan Swehli militia of Misrata, Faraj Swehli (C),

  9. http://archive.libyafeb17.com/2011/03/abc-radio-interview-with-ahmed-sewehli-son-of-kidnapped-abdulrahman-sewehli/

    Abdulrahman Al Sewehli Press

    London 'Quds Al-Arabi' of Ahmad Masri said Abdul Rahman Swehli candidate for prime minister of the Government of Libya the new transitional Monday evening in a telephone interview with 'Al Quds Al Arabi', the Executive Office of the Transitional Council Libi was a failure in his handling of the crisis, Libya over the months, and announced Swehli its rejection of the list made by Mahmoud Jibril, Chief Executive Office of the National Transitional Libya to form a new interim government, adding that the Libyans are waiting for consensus government and national unity of the national figures known for its history of struggle and efficiency to take over the affairs of the country at this critical period.

    At least one party, the Misrata-based Union for Homeland, said it would not work with a government that chose Jibril as a prime minister. Abdurrahman Sewehli, leader of the Union for Homeland party which won the most votes in Misrata, Libya's third largest city, beating the Muslim Brotherhood's party into second place, said Jibril's former ties to Gaddafi could not be overlooked.


    Misrata resistance leader hero during Italian occup "Ramadan Sewehli" ... Guma_el_gamaty

  10. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12591025
    Feras Kilani , the BBC REPORTER , who is already in feb 2011 in Tripoli , makes a circle in vid beneath :

    starting with his shed story in march 2011 ,
    a watcher almost start to like him when he gives the Towerghans space to talk about rape allegations , but he ends the vid again with claiming gov did the shed massacre

    Two soldiers have admitted taking part in mass rapes in the town of Misrata. Dr Ahmed Sewehli, a British-Libyan psychiatrist who has family living in Libya, has also spoken out about what he knows of the rapes. "There are Gaddafi men who are abducting girls from houses and are taking them to a certain hotel

    -Naser Adjima , held at the same time in the shed as feras claims, lies :
    the hanging he claims could not happen in the alcove ": it had a roof all the time!

    -Tajouri emptied three magazins Bashir , who is now a cook for the rebels, says

    -husayn tells Tajouri he is the cause of 27 orphans


  11. Ibrahim Ahmed Mansour Dau ??

    #Video #Misrata Days after HRW report Trial started of of Ibrahim Ahmed Mansour Dau and Mufti Khalid Tantoush





  12. Two foreign correspondents have been missing since Sunday after travelling in the direction of Zawiya, their newspapers reported.

    Britain’s Guardian newspaper said veteran correspondent Ghaith Abdul-Ahad was last in touch through a third party Sunday from the outskirts of the city. He was travelling with Paris correspondent Andrei Netto of Brazilian newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo, which said that until Sunday it had been receiving what it characterized as “indirect information” indicating Netto was safe.
    The Brazilian newspaper said it received information suggesting Mr. Netto had been taken prisoner by Libyan government forces, and that a Libyan official said the information was “probably correct.”
    Middle East Editor Ian Black said the Guardian has been in contact with Libyan government officials in Tripoli and London and asked them to urgently help in the search for Abdul-Ahad and to establish if he is in the custody of the authorities.
    Mr. Netto entered Libya on Feb. 19 from the border with Tunisia and worked his way toward Zawiya, his newspaper said.
    Brazil’s government, its embassy in Libya, the Red Cross and other groups are trying to find out more about Mr. Netto and to determine he is safe, the paper said.

    The British Broadcasting Corp. staff said three of its staff were detained, beaten and subjected to mock executions by pro-regime soldiers in Libya while attempting to reach the western city of Zawiya.
    The news organization said the crew, members of a BBC Arabic team, were detained on Monday by Moammar Gadhafi loyalists at a check point about 10 kilometres south of Zawiya.
    Chris Cobb-Smith, a British journalist and part of the crew, said the group were moved between several locations, in some cases alongside civilian captives who had visible injuries from heavy beatings.

  13. March 9, 2011 :

    This is a transcript of a radio interview of Ahmed Sewehli, whose father and 3 brothers were kidnapped by Gaddafi forces last week in Tripoli.


    But Ahmed Sewehli, 36, still fears for his father and two brothers who were also held at the beginning of March in the Libyan capital, Tripoli
    His missing brothers, Kalil, 31, and Shtewi, 25, were born in Britain and have dual British and Libyan nationality.

    His father Abdurrahman was an outspoken critic of Libyan leader Col Gaddafi.


    Ahmed's father Abdurrahman Sewehli, seen here with his daughter Halima, was a critic of Col Gaddafi

  14. Ahmed Sewehli :On 2 March a human rights group declared that 6,000 people had been killed in the crackdown on protesters

    Bashir Sewehli of the Libya Youth Movement

    reporters without borders saraya swehli

    Dr Ahmed Sewehli: says systematic rape beyond Misrata - Full interview
    Dr Ahmed Sewehli Head, Misrata Psychiatry Team Misrata, Libya
    Dr Ahmed Sewehli, a spokesman for Libyan Doctors Relief,


  15. http://xn--1qqz1i.net/video/8p09T_Ga5fE/Libya-Detains-Journalists-from-Iran-s-Press-TV-for-Espionage-Faraj-al-Swehli-Militia-s-Evidence.html

    @ 0.13 Farj Swehli, commander Misrata brigades

    October 4, 2012 Militia commander Faraj al-Swehli
    said dozens of families have fled Bani Walid in anticipation of an offensive.
    On Tuesday three fighters from Misrata were wounded in clashes during a surveillance operation near the town, according to witnesses.

    Al-Swehli ordered his Tripoli-based militia, originally from Misrata, to join others who have surrounded parts of the town.

    They are operating together in a loose coalition of the country's largest militias known as Libya Shield, which is relied on by the defense ministry.

    1. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/26/omran-shaban-dead_n_1915680.html

      The renewed tensions between Misrata and Bani Walid come at a difficult time for Libyan leaders, trying to impose order on armed groups after the killing of the U.S. ambassador in a fatal assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11.

  16. Wow......this is really fun. I've just finsihed seeing 6 patients in clinic in Yorkshire.....but this beats everything I've heard for a few weeks!

    Ahmed Sewehli


Comments welcome. Stay civil and on or near-topic. If you're at all stumped about how to comment, please see this post.