POSTED: July 19th 2012
NewsUpdate

Elalem: Colleagues and family protest to Prime Minister over kidnapped NOC chief

Family members and NOC staff gathered at the Prime Minister's office to protest for news of Nabil Elalem / NOC Libya
Family members and NOC staff gathered at the Prime Minister's office to protest for news of Nabil Elalem / NOC Libya

British Foreign Secretary William Hague has urged the Libyan government to make security a priority / NOC Libya
British Foreign Secretary William Hague has urged the Libyan government to make security a priority / NOC Libya

Sports Features Communications

July 19 – While many of the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) are packing to go to the London 2012 Games Libya is still desperate to hear news of their kidnapped NOC president Nabil Elalem. Abducted 4 days ago during an auto ambush by armed gunmen masquerading as Libyan army, no one has heard anything as to his whereabouts or news.

Reuters news reports that family members and a few dozen colleagues gathered outside Prime Minister Abdurrahim El-Keib's office with photos of him and banners reading “Where is Nabil Elalem?” and demanding to know how the government was intervening for search and rescue.

His brother Salah Elalem has been proactive to put pressure on the government for answers to no avail. "We are here to ask - what is the government doing? The whole world is asking about him. We want the government to do its duty."

Yesterday the Ministry of Youth and Sports as well as the Ministry of Defense both made statements condemning the kidnapping and making a plea for his release. However as yet no one group has taken claim to the abduction nor asked for ransom.  

It is widely believed that after the end of Muammar Gadhafi's government last year there are still a number of renegade armed groups who are acting independently and this is behind the kidnapping. However as the head of the sports body it is not clear why they would be using the sports body if they are not claiming the abduction for a specific reason.

Speaking to Reuters a former football player and coach, Mahmoud Jehani, said, "This is an important person, the state should guarantee his security. I hope it will end soon."

A colleague of Elalem, Arafat Jwan, added, "We are still waiting to see how the problem will be sorted. There is nothing for now."

Later a number of the demonstrators were able to meet with Keib.

The Libyan team is preparing to go to the Olympics in London in a matter of days, in spite of the incidence for the moment they still plan to make the trip and compete.


Keywords · Libya · Nabil Elalem · William Hague ·


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