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Mustafa Abdul Jalil

Mustafa Abdul Jalil

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Mustafa Abdul Jalil or Abdul-Jalil (born 1952) is the Chairman of the National Transitional Council
National Transitional Council
The National Transitional Council of Libya , sometimes known as the Transitional National Council, the Interim National Council, or the Libyan National Council,...

 of Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

, and as such serves as head of state in Libya's caretaker government
Caretaker government
Caretaker government is a type of government that rules temporarily. A caretaker government is often set up following a war until stable democratic rule can be restored, or installed, in which case it is often referred to as a provisional government...

 which was formed as a result of the 2011 Libyan civil war
2011 Libyan civil war
The 2011 Libyan civil war was an armed conflict in the North African state of Libya, fought between forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and those seeking to oust his government. The war was preceded by protests in Benghazi beginning on 15 February 2011, which led to clashes with security...

. He is also a spokesman for the city of Bayda.

From 2007 to 2011, Abdul Jalil was Minister of Justice (officially, the Secretary of the General People's Committee of Justice
General People's Committee of Libya
The General People's Committee , often abbreviated as the GPCO, acted as secretaries for various Libyan ministries during the era of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya...

) under Colonel Muammar Gaddafi
Muammar Gaddafi
Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar Gaddafi or "September 1942" 20 October 2011), commonly known as Muammar Gaddafi or Colonel Gaddafi, was the official ruler of the Libyan Arab Republic from 1969 to 1977 and then the "Brother Leader" of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya from 1977 to 2011.He seized power in a...

. He has been noted in some news media for his stance against various human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 violations in Libya
Human rights in Libya
The Kingdom of Libya, from 1951 to 1969, was heavily influenced and educated by the British and American oil companies. The King was very westernized and Libya also had a constitution. The kingdom, however, was marked by a feudal regime, where Libya had a low literacy rate of 10%, a low life...

, although others express a different view and accuse him, for example, of intransigence during the appeal by the Bulgarian nurses (that sentence was later converted to life imprisonment and the nurses were eventually released). During the civil war, Abdul Jalil was identified as the Chairman of the National Transitional Council based in Benghazi
Benghazi is the second largest city in Libya, the main city of the Cyrenaica region , and the former provisional capital of the National Transitional Council. The wider metropolitan area is also a district of Libya...

, although this position was contested by others in the uprising due to his past direct participation in Gaddafi's government as Minister of Justice for four years until 2011.


After graduating from the department of Shari'a and Law in the Arabic Language and Islamic Studies faculty of University of Libya
University of Libya
The University of Libya was a public university based in Tripoli and Benghazi, Libya. The university was established in 1955 and disestablished in 1973, when its colleges were split into two new universities: the Benghazi University in Benghazi, and the University of Tripoli in Tripoli.-Origins...

 in 1975, Abdul Jalil was initially "assistant to the Secretary of the Public Prosecutor" in Bayda, before being appointed a judge
A judge is a person who presides over court proceedings, either alone or as part of a panel of judges. The powers, functions, method of appointment, discipline, and training of judges vary widely across different jurisdictions. The judge is supposed to conduct the trial impartially and in an open...

 in 1978.

Abdul Jalil was a judge "known for ruling consistently against the regime," before becoming justice minister in 2007. In January 2010 he attempted to resign on national television over the government's failure to release political prisoners. His resignation was rejected. He resigned on 21 February 2011 after being sent to Benghazi to negotiate the release of hostages taken by rebels, being the first senior official to do so.

In classified US diplomatic cables leaked
United States diplomatic cables leak
The United States diplomatic cables leak, widely known as Cablegate, began in February 2010 when WikiLeaks—a non-profit organization that publishes submissions from anonymous whistleblowers—began releasing classified cables that had been sent to the U.S. State Department by 274 of its consulates,...

 recently by the website Wikileaks
WikiLeaks is an international self-described not-for-profit organisation that publishes submissions of private, secret, and classified media from anonymous news sources, news leaks, and whistleblowers. Its website, launched in 2006 under The Sunshine Press organisation, claimed a database of more...

, he is described as open and cooperative. Following his resignation from Gadhaffi's government in protest at its actions during the Libyan civil war, the Gaddafi regime had placed a bounty of 500,000 dinars
Libyan dinar
The dinar is the currency of Libya. Its ISO 4217 code is "LYD". The dinar is subdivided into 1000 dirham . It was introduced in 1971 and replaced the pound at par. It is issued by the Central Bank of Libya, which also supervises the banking system and regulates credit...

, roughly US$ 400,000, for his capture.

Pre-2011 protests

In August 2010, a representative of Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Its headquarters are in New York City and it has offices in Berlin, Beirut, Brussels, Chicago, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo,...

 praised the fact that Abdul Jalil had "has reportedly taken a strong stance against arbitrary arrests
Arbitrary arrest and detention
Arbitrary arrest and arbitrary detention are the arrest or detention of an individual in a case in which there is no likelihood or evidence that they committed a crime against legal statute, or in which there has been no proper due process of law...

 and prolonged detention without trial
Indefinite detention
Indefinite detention is the incarceration of an arrested person by a national government or law enforcement agency without a trial. It is a controversial practice on the part of any government or agency that is in violation of many national and international laws, including human rights laws...

", commenting that:
In a paper published in November 2010, Amnesty International
Amnesty International
Amnesty International is an international non-governmental organisation whose stated mission is "to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated."Following a publication of Peter Benenson's...

 stated similarly, that:
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Its headquarters are in New York City and it has offices in Berlin, Beirut, Brussels, Chicago, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo,...

 made the same observations in its submission to the 2010 Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 Human Rights Council.

L'Express noted that before being named a minister of justice of Libya in 2007, he was the president of the Libyan Court of Appeal. The paper opined that Abdul Jalil was responsible for the "intransigence" of the court in confirming the death sentences in the "Bulgarian nurses" HIV trial
HIV trial in Libya
The HIV trial in Libya concerns the trials, appeals and eventual release of six foreign medical workers charged with conspiring to deliberately infect over 400 children with HIV in 1998, causing an epidemic at El-Fatih Children's Hospital in Benghazi, Libya.The defendants were a Palestinian...

 under Gaddafi.

2011 protests and civil war

During the 2011 Libyan civil war
2011 Libyan civil war
The 2011 Libyan civil war was an armed conflict in the North African state of Libya, fought between forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and those seeking to oust his government. The war was preceded by protests in Benghazi beginning on 15 February 2011, which led to clashes with security...

 he was dispatched by Gaddafi to Benghazi to allegedly "negotiate the release of hostages taken by Islamists".

On 21 February, the privately-owned Quryna newspaper reported that he had resigned over "the excessive use of violence against anti-government protesters".

On 22 February, he claimed in an interview with Swedish newspaper Expressen
Expressen is one of two nationwide evening tabloid newspapers in Sweden, the other being Aftonbladet. Expressen was founded in 1944; its symbol is a wasp and slogans "it stings" or "Expressen to your rescue", always on the reader's side....

that he had proof Gaddafi had personally ordered the 1988 Lockerbie bombing.

On 24 February, the BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 reported that, at a meeting of opposition politicians, former military officers and tribal leaders the eastern city of Bayda, Abdul Jalil said there would be no talks with the Libyan leader and called for him to step down immediately.

On 5 March, Reuters
Reuters is a news agency headquartered in New York City. Until 2008 the Reuters news agency formed part of a British independent company, Reuters Group plc, which was also a provider of financial market data...

 reported that Abdul Jalil claimed to have "official contacts with European and Arab (countries)" and that "some countries will announce their recognition" of the National Transitional Council "soon".

On 9 March, Abdul Jalil called for the imposition of a no-fly zone over Libya.

As the Battle of Tripoli
Battle of Tripoli (2011)
The Battle of Tripoli was a military confrontation in Tripoli, Libya, between loyalists of Muammar Gaddafi, the longtime leader of Libya, and the National Transitional Council, which was attempting to overthrow Gaddafi and take control of the capital...

 tilted in favor of forces answering to the NTC, Abdul Jalil said on 24 August that democratic elections would be held in eight months. He also said that Gaddafi and his sons, once captured, would be tried in Libya prior to being sent to The Hague
The Hague
The Hague is the capital city of the province of South Holland in the Netherlands. With a population of 500,000 inhabitants , it is the third largest city of the Netherlands, after Amsterdam and Rotterdam...

 for trial at the International Criminal Court
International Criminal Court
The International Criminal Court is a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression .It came into being on 1 July 2002—the date its founding treaty, the Rome Statute of the...


Efforts to form an interim government during the 2011 unrest in Libya

On 24 February, opposition politicians, former military officers, tribal leaders, academics and businessmen held a meeting in the eastern city of Bayda. The meeting was chaired by Abdul Jalil, who quit the government a few days before. The delegates stressed the importance of the national unity of Libya and stated that Tripoli is the capital city. They discussed proposals for interim administration with many delegates asking for UN intervention in Libya. The podium at the meeting displayed the pre-Gaddafi era flag of the Kingdom of Libya
Kingdom of Libya
The Kingdom of Libya, originally called the United Libyan Kingdom came into existence upon independence on 24 December 1951 and lasted until a coup d'état led by Muammar Gaddafi on 1 September 1969 overthrew King Idris of Libya and established the Libyan Arab Republic.- Constitution :Under the...


On 25 February, Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera is an independent broadcaster owned by the state of Qatar through the Qatar Media Corporation and headquartered in Doha, Qatar...

 reported that talks are taking place between "personalities from eastern and western Libya" to form an interim government for the post-Gaddafi era. On 26 February, it was reported that Abdul Jalil was leading the process of forming an interim government, to be based in Benghazi. Abdul Jalil stated that "Gaddafi alone bore responsibility for the crimes that have occurred" in Libya, he also insisted on the unity of Libya and that Tripoli is the capital. The efforts to form an alternative government have been supported by the Libyan ambassador in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, Ali Suleiman Aujali. The Libyan deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Ibrahim Omar Al Dabashi, has stated that he supported a new alternative government "in principle".

The members of the new interim government were to be announced on 27 February at a press conference in the city of Benghazi. Some of the portfolios were to be left vacant for representatives for areas that are still controlled by the Gaddafi-led government. The proposed interim government aims to remain in power for three months after which elections will be held. The new interim government is to include both civilians and persons from the military.

An Al Jazeera English journalist in Benghazi has reported that that a fully fledged interim government will not be formed until Tripoli is under opposition control. This is in contrast to claims made by Abdul Jalil on the previous day about the formation of a provisional government. These comments have now been clarified as his "personal views".

Abdul Jalil was stated to be the head of the National Transitional Council in the Council's founding statement of 5 March 2011.

External links

  • Profile at NTC
  • Libya crisis: Profile of NTC Chair Mustafa Abdul Jalil, BBC News
    BBC News
    BBC News is the department of the British Broadcasting Corporation responsible for the gathering and broadcasting of news and current affairs. The department is the world's largest broadcast news organisation and generates about 120 hours of radio and television output each day, as well as online...

    , 22 August 2011
  • Mustafa Abdul Jalil collected news and commentary at The Times of India
    The Times of India
    The Times of India is an Indian English-language daily newspaper. TOI has the largest circulation among all English-language newspaper in the world, across all formats . It is owned and managed by Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd...