Libya’s powerlifting champion and team manager, Tariq Makhlouf, is suffering from bruises and wounds after being severely beaten by security guards escorting the head of interim government, Abdullah Al-Thani, in his latest visit to Benghazi.
Makhlouf was on his way to his home with his wife and children when he found himself strangled in a traffic jam that blocked the entrance of his neighbourhood.
On his Facebook page, he explained that he asked members of the Criminal Investigation Department, who were at the site, to clarify what was going on.
He was told that it was a security checkpoint that was set up because of the visit of the head of interim government, Abdullah Al-Thani, to one of the military headquarters in the area.
He added that he argued that “it was more worthwhile for Al-Thani to pay a visit to the people queuing in front of the banks and to consider their demands rather than this senseless visit that caused chaos in the neighbourhood and prevented people from reaching their homes.”
Makhlouf said that an officer then forced him out of his car and started to beat him up in front of his wife and children before other officers came and joined in.
"They did not spare me until they have broken my teeth and jaw," he said, adding that he was left bleeding on the side of the road.
Makhlouf pointed out that he had lodged a formal complaint against the officers, stressing his belief that “justice will be served in my case.”
The Libya Powerlifting Federation condemned “the disgraceful assault” on Makhlouf and urges the interior ministry to open a probe into the incident.