The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms the brutal assassination in Benghazi of prominent Libyan political thinker and human rights activist Salwa Bugaighis. Through her dedicated activism and her leadership in Libya’s democratic transition, including most recently through the Preparatory Committee for National Dialogue, Bugaighis courageously worked to achieve the aspirations of the Libyan people. Her legacy and achievements in building the foundations of an open, transparent and stable democracy will endure and her example will serve as a model for civil society activists in Libya and around the world.
In 2011, I had the honor to meet Salwa in Benghazi. She was exhilarated by Libya’s new possibilities and determined not to be deterred by those who threatened and intimidated her. Her ability to advocate with political insight and deep, selfless conviction won her the respect of Libyans from all walks of life. The news of her murder is heartbreaking. It underscores the need for an inclusive and revitalized political process – one based on law, not violence – that reflects aspirations of all Libya’s people.
Libya took an important step forward yesterday by holding new parliamentary elections, and we underscore the importance of the work of the Constitution Drafting Committee and the critical role for a Libyan-led national dialogue in Libya.
On behalf of the United States, I extend my deepest condolences to family and friends of Salwa Bugaighis and to the people of Libya.
Law is better than violence.