By Shiekh Al-Sadiq Al-Gharyani, Libyan Grand Mufti 

As expected from every authoritarian regime with no fear of accountability and ousting, there is a lack of transparency in dealing with the disaster in Derna. It is not yet known what has gone of Derna, is it half of it, a third of it, a quarter of it? Nobody knows! There is no credible data or realistic statistics issued, or broadcast through media moment by moment, as is the case in such situations in all countries.

In the first two days of the disaster, those in charge of the burials were announcing the statistics of whom they had buried by the hour, because they were acting spontaneously. This was the case before Haftar’s forces entered and took over. Since these forces entered Derna, the media was put under control.  Even news about the numbers of those being buried around the clock has become scarce and unreliable.

Lack of transparency has made the world know nothing about the dead, the missing, the wounded, or the displaced! This is if we exclude the 145 Egyptians, who were handed over to their families with honest statistics and accurate numbers!

Announcing the numbers as they really are, if they exist, would lead to the fear of knowing the magnitude of the scandal that this tyrannical regime is experiencing. It was clear from the first and second days that it does not have the minimum equipment that can be used to discover what happened, as well as the trained crews and rescue teams that military institutions usually have! 

Unfortunately, these and other scandals, which are a few of many, are not allowed to be addressed or talked about, and all channels that they have allowed into Derna, only broadcast what praises the achievements of (the army and the General Command) either out of courtesy, or falsely.

In the absence of transparency, one would have to expect the unthinkable, or else, how would an observer can understand the security orders that were issued on the night of the hurricane to the people of the city, imposing a curfew and obliging them to stay in their homes, yet they knew that there was a hurricane coming, of which they had been warned in advance, and whose time was known. 

What one has to call or describe what has happened, because it is contrary to the usual practice in such a situation, among nations of the globe? 

Obliging people to stay in their homes in such situations means imprisoning them until they meet their fate and die collectively. The consequence of these orders was that the floods engulfed the city, and its people along with their property, livestock, trees, and stones, and destroyed their structure from its foundations, throwing them all into the depths of the sea. 

Can any of Haftar’s servants, who are today in his government or parliament; who used to boast that their mission is for accountability and control, discuss the curfew orders in Derna and its consequences?  If he had done so, he would have disappeared from existence, and none of his colleagues would dare to even ask about him, because such talk ‘is not in its right time and stirs up discord!’

The General Command is preoccupied with a major crucial issue at the present time, which is handing over Derna free of any concerns and population to the Egyptians after the elimination of its last breath, and also the Parliament and its speaker are busy in an emergency session with the ten billion that they are impatiently waiting for, to take care of, on this occasion.

The only description of what happened, by anyone with any sense of mind, is that it was a deliberate killing of many thousands in one hour by those who ordered it or carried it out. Then, in light of this arrogant, brutal iron fist and the fraudulent parliament, does anyone believe, that investigations that the people are talking about will ever take place regarding the dam that collapsed, or the curfew, or the Egyptian armored invasion, which is calling itself rescue teams!

These soldiers who entered Libya with armored vehicles are not the Egyptians whom we knew and had taught us at schools, and we knew their virtue and benevolence in Libya in the old days. Rather, they are bad soldiers who are subordinated to the Zionists and their agents in the region. Is it right for the people of Libya to remain silent after all this about them and about the billions that Agila Saleh is asking for, in the disguise of providing relief to the people of Derna, or reconstruction of the city! Handing over money to them is an unforgivable crime and an unbearable burden! 

This scene in Derna, O people of Libya and the eastern region in particular, if you remained silent about it, it could be repeated in Al-Marj, Benghazi, Tobruk, and Al-Bayda, and they will perish just as the people of Derna did, and then you will say: “I was devoured the day the white bull was eaten.”)! 

If the people of Libya do not rise up united now to find out the truth about what happened to the people of Derna, and to champion their cause, then they will see what is even worse in the coming days. The Prophet, May Allah’s Prayers and Peace Be Upon Him, said: “If people see an oppressor and do not take action against him, Allah will surely punish them all.”


Disclaimer:  The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Libya Observer