Who is Mansour Al-Kikhia?
Mansour Al-Kikhia is a Libyan politician and diplomat, one of the most prominent opponents of the former dictator Muammar Gaddafi. He vanished under mysterious circumstances in 1993 until his body was found 19 years later in a refrigerator in a villa belonging to Libya's former military intelligence services in Tripoli.
Al-Kikhia was born in 1931 in Benghazi. As a child, he grew up and studied primarily in his hometown Benghazi before being sent to Egypt to attend high school. He went on to complete his university education and he graduated in 1950.
Al-Kikhia received a degree in international law from the Sorbonne University in Paris which put him on a path to becoming a human rights activist and ultimately meant facing the Gaddafi regime. In 1984 he founded the Libyan Human Rights Association from exile then two years later he established the Libyan National Alliance and was elected to the position of Secretary General. In the early 1970s, he stood for his principles and defended the rights of prisoners despite the risk of this work under a regime that arrests, intimidates, tortures and kills people, who just wanted to get their voices heard.
Al-Kikhia had long been involved in politics since the time of the monarchy, which made of him a leading politician and diplomat. In 1962 he joined the Libyan Embassy in France and after, in Algeria in 1963. He was a General Consul in Geneva (1963-1967) and a member of the Libyan Mission to the United Nations in 1968. After the coup of Muammar Gaddafi he went on occupying important official posts. He was appointed as Libyan foreign minister from 1972-1973; then he was appointed as the Permanent Representative of the United Nations in Libya between the years 1975-1980 before announcing his resignation and opposition to the former Gaddafi's regime in protest against the policies of summary executions practiced by the Libyan state at the time through the so-called revolutionary committees.
Al-Kikhia vanished under suspicious circumstances during his participation in the Board of Trustees of the Arab Organization for Human Rights meeting in Cairo on the 10th of December 1993.
His disappearance remained a mystery due to the lack of evidence; however, the Libyan Intelligence Services were accused of kidnapping Al-Kikhia in cooperation with the former Egyptian regime.
After years of mystery, the remains of Al-Kikhia were found in October 2012 inside a refrigerator of a villa belonging to the former military intelligence in Tripoli, owing to information provided by Abdullah al-Senussi, head of the Intelligence Service of the former regime following his arrest during the February revolution.
The CIA conducted a report that points to the involvement of the Egyptian agents in kidnapping Al-Kikhia before handing him over to the Libyan authorities who later executed him. This was confirmed by the former foreign minister of Gaddafi's regime Abd al-Rahman Shalgham in an interview with the London-based newspaper Al-Hayat, where he said that the Egyptian security kidnapped Al-Kikhia and then he was transferred to Tobruk where he was received by Abdullah al-Senussi. For nearly twenty years his whereabouts remained unknown until Gaddafi was over thrown, still, the circumstances of his death remain a mystery up to this day. Some have speculated that he died during the events at Abu Salim's prison; while some claim that he died in prison as a result of medical negligence.
The Libyan Foreign Ministry held a state funeral in Benghazi and memorial service in his honour on December 3rd, 2012.