Russia hopes for fair sentence to its citizens in Libya
MOSCOW, July 5 - RAPSI. Russia hopes the Libyan authorities will fairly consider the appeal against the sentences of several Russian citizens detained in the country, Foreign Ministry Commissioner Konstantin Dolgov said on Thursday.
Two Russians, 19 Ukrainians and three Belarusians were detained in Libya last fall. They were accused of supporting Qaddafi's forces during their military actions. In early June, the Libyan authorities sentenced a Russian accused of coordinating the group to life imprisonment. Other defendants in the case were sentenced to 10 years in prison. The Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian foreign ministries have said they will seek the release of their citizens.
In early February 2011, mass protests demanding the resignation of Muammar Gaddafi, who was in power for over 40 years, started in Libya. Eventually, they escalated into an armed resistance between the ruling regime's forces and the NATO-backed opposition. The opposition formed the Transitional National Council in Benghazi and called it the only legitimate authority in the country. Gaddafi was killed by the opposition near Sirte on October 20.