On Thursday, activists from the ‘August 23rd Movement’, which is leading protests critical of the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, condemned the crackdown on demonstrators in Martyrs’ Square. The activists claimed that dozens of protesters were injured after being shot at by masked men and that some organisers were arrested.
The movement held GNA Prime Minister, Fayez Al-Sarraj, and Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha, responsible for the safety of the demonstrators. They urged the United Nations Support Mission to Libya (UNSMIL), to carry out an immediate investigation into the violations committed against protesters.
GNA forces have blocked all roads leading to Martyrs’ Square, amid chants of protesters rejecting the presence of armed militias in the country.
According to eyewitnesses, the Al-Nawasi and Al-Radaa militias were responsible for suppressing the peaceful demonstrations. Some sources told Al-Arabiya, that Turkey was closely following-up the demonstrations from an operations room in Tripoli and that a Turkish security team had already arrived in Libya to confront the situation.
The protesters reaffirmed their demands for the PM’s resignation, chanting “Leave, leave, leave”. Soon, however, the protests evolved into a movement of civil disobedience throughout the streets of the capital. Al-Sarraj was given 24 hours to announce his resignation “out of respect for the Libyan people.”
Following the demonstrations, Al-Sarraj announced the imposition of a comprehensive and immediate curfew for a period of four days. In response, many activists said that they “are preparing for a million man march on Friday, August 28th, until demands are met.”