NPWJ and the NRPTT mourn the killing of Salwa Bugaighis, Libyan human rights lawyer and defender, and note with sadness the passing of Florence Ali, women’s rights activist from Ghana

Brussels, 27 June 2014

No Peace Without Justice and the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty (NRPTT) mourn with great sadness the murder of Ms Salwa Bugaighis, not only a prominent human rights lawyer and activist, but a true symbol of Libya’s revolution against the Gaddafi regime. Ms Bugaighis was killed last Thursday, soon after having cast her vote in Libya’s parliamentary elections. Salwa Bugaighis, along with members of her family, played a crucial role in the arduous process that Libya is undergoing in order to achieve peace and democracy. Her loss comes at a time characterized by constant killings, kidnappings and widespread violence in Benghazi.
Salwa Bugaighis was at the forefront of the February 2011 uprising, when she worked as a defence lawyer for political prisoners. Since that time she had become a prominent figure within the country’s political scene: her work was constantly directed towards broadening notions of rights and citizenship. As a woman and member of the National Transitional Council, Ms Bugaighis also made sure to represent women and to fight for their inclusion in the emerging leadership.
Throughout the years, we had the honour to work together Ms Bugaighis, who shared with us information and reports on the prosecutions and trials for crimes committed during the 17 February revolution. Her commitment to the rule of law and accountability was a beacon of inspiration for us in our work in Libya. She came from an exceptional family, and we had the chance to work with some of the other members of her family. Her cousin, Wafa Bugaighis, has been a close NPWJ’s partner since before she became Deputy Foreign Minister and her niece, Dania Zada, participated in several of our activities, such as Pari e Dispare’s event in Rome in 2012.
Libya and the entire human rights international community have lost a true friend and advocate. We mourn Salwa Bugaighis’ murder and urge all who knew her and whose lives she touched to carry on her legacy. NPWJ will certainly do so.
We also note in sadness the passing of Florence Ali, President of the Ghanaian Association for Women’s Welfare (GAWW), our long-standing partner in the common fight against female genital mutilation and other violations of women’s rights. In recognition of her years of dedicated work, she had recently been elected to the Executive Board of the Inter-African
Committee as Vice-President. We celebrate her rich contribution to the cause of women’s rights, and deeply mourn her loss, which will be sharply felt in Ghana and beyond.

For further information please contact Nicola Giovannini at or +32 (0)2 548 39 15.