I FOUGHT IN LIBYA

Please Don't Call Us Terrorists

by Belal Younis, Middle East Eye

I fought in Libya against the oppressor Muammar Gaddafi. I think what I and others did was for a worthy cause. It certainly was not terrorism.

For 41 years, Libyans were forced to live under Gaddafi's police state where human rights abuses were routine.

Student demonstrations were put down violently, security forces rounded up academics and lawyers, and political opponents were arrested and sometimes disappeared, if not gruesomely publicly executed for trumped up charges.

In 1980 Gaddafi introduced a policy of extrajudicial executions of political opponents across the world whom he called "stray dogs." And according to Human Rights Watch in 1996 up to 1,200 out of 1,700 prisoners were shot dead in cold blood by security forces in a span of two days.

Then, when on 15 February 2011, a group of locals turned out for a peaceful demonstration, and received bullets in return, we knew that we had no choice but to fight.

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