Libya: Six Libyans face death penalty for switching over completely to Christianity
By Ahmad Hadizat Omayoza MAMOS Nigeria
According to activists, six Libyans face the death penalty for proselytizing and converting to Christianity under laws that are increasingly being used to silence civil society and human rights organizations.
In March, security forces detained the men and women separately, some of whom belonged to minority ethnic groups in Libya, such as the Amazigh or Berbers in the west of the country.
Last month, Libya’s Internal Security Agency (ISA) detained a US citizen, but he was later released and is believed to have left the country.
The six Libyans have been charged under article 207 of the correctional code, which rebuffs any endeavor to course sees that intend to “change major established standards, or the basic designs of the social request”, or defeat the state, and any individual who have books, pamphlets, drawings, mottos “or whatever other things” that advance their objective.
The arrests were made, according to a statement released by the ISA, to “stop an organized gang action aimed to solicit and make people leave Islam.”
One of the detainees’ lawyers said that the ISA posted videos of their confessions online so that their clients’ families could see them.
Seyfao Madi, an engineer and father of one, admitted in one of the videos that he had converted to Christianity in 2017 and had attempted to convert others.
Madi said, “His face is not clear in the video. I was brought into the world in 1977 and I was captured by the Inner Security Unit for changing over completely to Christianity. I joined a group of Libyans and foreigners circulating Christian propaganda inside Libya.
“In 2016 my companion acquainted me with different companions, among them a Christian from the US. After much discussion, I converted the following year and he baptized me.
A lawyer who requested anonymity for reasons of safety stated that he renounced his Christian faith during torture.