BBC News Middle East

Top Stories



Latest Updates

  1. Libyan court cancels Gen Haftar's presidency bid

    Ahmed Rouaba

    BBC News

    Libya's Khalifa Haftar
    Image caption: Prosecutors had advised the electoral body to block Khalifa Haftar's application

    A court in Libya's western city of Zawiya has ordered the electoral commission to drop Gen Khalifa Haftar's name from the list of presidential candidates.

    Gen Haftar, who led a rebellion against the National Unity Government between 2019 and 2020, caused controversy when he filed his paperwork to run for president.

    Military prosecutors had advised the electoral commission to stop processing his application until he was questioned over accusations of human rights abuses.

    They also advised against the candidacy of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of the country's former leader, Muammar Gaddafi.

    Last week, a court in Misrata sentenced Gen Haftar to death in absentia for bombing a military college in the city in 2019.

    He is also wanted in the US.

    The military commander, whose forces control the east of the country and parts of the south, has the right to appeal against the Zawiya court’s decision but he is unlikely to attend the hearing as he is under an arrest warrant.

    He has not commented on the various allegations against him.

  2. Video content

    Video caption: Running from war and 'ghosts' in Yemen

    BBC Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen meets terrified children running from civil war and 'ghosts' in Yemen.

  3. Libya protesters back judiciary after court house takeover

    Ahmed Rouaba

    BBC News

    Residents of Libya's south-western city of Sebha took to the streets on Monday to protest against militiamen who besieged a local court house preventing employees and judges accessing the building.

    A court session had been scheduled to listen to an appeal by Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of the country's former leader, who was barred from running in the 24 December presidential election.

    The militiamen are believed to be loyal to warlord Khalifa Haftar, whose candidacy was controversially approved.

    Protesters held banners in support of the judiciary and chanted: "No to the intimidation of judges."

    They also called on the international community and the UN to help ensure free and transparent elections.

    A video of the protest was shared on Twitter:

    View more on twitter
  4. Video content

    Video caption: Channel disaster: A father's anguish, a missing family

    Rizgar Hussein hasn't heard from his family since the Channel disaster on Wednesday.

  5. Video content

    Video caption: The migrants returned to Iraqi camps from Belarus

    Three specially chartered planes have now returned 1,000 migrants from Belarus to Iraq.

  6. UN alarmed by attack on court handling Gaddafi case

    BBC World Service

    Saif al-Islam Gaddafi
    Image caption: Earlier this month Saif al-Islam Gaddafi registered to run for president but has since been disqualified

    The UN has expressed alarm about a reported attack on a Libyan court where Saif al-Islam Gaddafi's lawyer was trying to lodge an appeal against his ban from next month's presidential election.

    The son of the late Libyan dictator was disqualified on Thursday by Libya's election commission, on the basis of a 2015 conviction for war crimes by a Tripoli court.

    Mr Gaddafi's lawyer, Khaled al-Zaidi, said armed men had raided the court in the southern city of Sebha and had stopped him entering to lodge his client's appeal.

    Sebha is under the control of a group allied to Khalifa Haftar, another of the main candidates.

  7. Militiamen stop Gaddafi son's appeal in Libya - lawyer

    Ahmed Rouaba

    BBC News

    Saif al-Islam Gaddafi is wanted by an international court for war crimes (archive photo)
    Image caption: Presidential hopeful Saif al-Islam Gaddafi is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes

    Militiamen have stormed a Libyan court and prevented judges from looking into Saif al-Islam Gaddafi’s appeal against the decision to exclude him from the presidential race, according to his lawyer.

    Khaled Zaidi told reporters in the city of Sebha that the hearing could not take place because "the employees of the court and judges were forced out at gunpoint".

    He described the move as "unacceptable and uncivilised" and warned it would have "implications on the election process".

    The electoral commission had rejected the candidacy of several applicants for the presidential race including Mr Gaddafi - the son of Libya's late leader Muammar Gaddafi - citing legal reasons.

    Mr Gaddafi is wanted by the international criminal court for alleged war crimes during the popular uprising against his late father’s rule.

    Libyan military prosecutors had asked the electoral commission to stop processing the paperwork of both Mr Gaddafi and warlord Khalifa Haftar until they are questioned over criminal charges brought against them.

    On Thursday, a Misrata court issued a death sentence in absentia against Mr Haftar for bombing Misrata's military college in 2019 and killing Libyan soldiers during his rebellion against the national unity government.

    The candidacy of Mr Haftar for the presidential elections seems to have been validated by the electoral commission.