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Libyan women make history in new government

Although Libya's Government of National Unity breaks ground by naming women as justice and foreign ministers, women are still underrepresented in the interim Cabinet.
Foreign Minister in Libya's transitional Government of National Unity (GNU) Najla al-Mangoush poses for a picture in the capital Tripoli, on March 17, 2021. - The activist and lawyer from the eastern city of Benghazi is Libya's first female foreign minister, in a government which counts five women with two in key portfolios. Nevertheless this first for the country drew criticism from activists as too little and as not living up to a UN commitment. (Photo by Mahmud TURKIA / AFP) (Photo by MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP v

Hanan al-Barassi, a well-known lawyer and activist, was gunned down on a busy street in downtown Benghazi on Nov. 10. Famous for her anti-corruption activism, al-Barassi — nicknamed Granny of Burga — gained prominence for her video clips published on YouTube criticizing government corruption and defending women.

No one has been held accountable nearly five months after her murder, and her case is not the only one left unsolved. A source in Benghazi’s police department speaking anonymously told Al-Monitor in a phone interview, “This case is closed without anyone being charged.” When pressed on whether there is a suspect, he said, “I cannot say anything else.”

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