Election candidate mourns brother's death in Benghazi

 

A LIBYAN-BORN man who is running as an Independent candidate in the Dublin South constituency was yesterday grieving for his stepbrother, who was shot dead during weekend clashes in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi.

A brutal crackdown on anti-government protests has claimed nearly 300 lives there.

Hussein Hamed (49) learned of his stepbrother Abdul Kareem’s death on Sunday night when his brother called with the news from Benghazi.

Abdul Kareem (20), a final year student of economics, had taken to the streets with his brother after they heard mercenaries from sub-Saharan African countries were attacking protesters.

“One of them shot him in the head,” said Mr Hamed. “He died instantly right in front of our brother, who is in deep shock over what happened.

“As a family our feelings are mixed – on one hand we are proud that our son and brother died fighting for our freedom in Libya, but we are also devastated because we have lost a much loved member of our family,” he said.

Born in Benghazi, Mr Hamed first came to Ireland in 1983 to study aviation. He returned to Libya in 1988 but fled a decade later due to his involvement with the Muslim Brotherhood. He and his Libyan wife claimed asylum in Ireland. They have six children, four of whom were born in Ireland. The family lives in Dundrum.

Mr Hamed said he and other Libyans living in Ireland were frustrated by the EU’s response to the violence in his home country.

“We have been let down by the EU and the wider international community. Why? Because Mr Gadafy has oil.

“How can we stop this bloodshed? Should we chain ourselves to Dáil Éireann,” he asked.