Magharebia (Washington DC)

3 December 2013

Libya: Tripoli Radio Chief Slaying Spurs Outrage

Photo: Radwan Gariani/Facebook
Radwan Gariani, slain owner of Tripoli FM.

Tripoli — The head of a Libyan radio station was found dead Sunday (December 1st) in his car, his body riddled with bullets.

Tripoli FM suspended broadcasting to confirm the assassination of owner Radwan Gariani, saying he was found in the Ghot al-Roman neighbourhood on the outskirts of Tripoli.

The station launched in 2011 airs Western music.

Reporters Without Borders asked Libyan authorities "to open an investigation as soon as possible in order to clarify the reasons for the assassination and to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice".

"This is new for the capital Tripoli," said Miftah Belaid, Tripoli's Libya al-Jadida newspaper. "Nothing was stolen, neither his money nor his computer."

Elementary teacher Leyla Assirri said, "I am a fan of this radio and it has nothing political, only songs and youth programmes.

"I understood from Rabii Dahan, head of programmes, that he is the father of five girls and had not received any death threats prior to his murder," she said.

"It makes us wonder about the reasons behind his killing," the Tripoli teacher added.

According to university student Salma Saad, the slain radio broadcaster "was not a politician but was pursuing a western approach in terms of culture and entertainment and an Arab one in terms of diversity and youth programmes".

Libya media suffers, said small business owner Yousef Bin Salem, because it faces closed doors on one hand and armed militias that do not want to be criticised on the other.

Bin Salem added that the killing of journalists should not take place in a free Libya.

Dr Mustafa Abushagur, former interim deputy prime minister, asked, "Did assassinations move to Tripoli? Will there be a serious investigation in this case, or will it be like the assassinations in Benghazi that number well above 100 yet all recorded against unknown?"

"I hold the government and the attorney general responsible for the investigation into this case and to bring the criminals to justice," Abushagur added.

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