Lawyer: Detained man, Gadhafi’s son, suffers deteriorating health 2 weeks into hunger strike

FILE - Hannibal Gadhafi, son of ousted Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, watches an elite military unit exercise in Zlitan, Libya, Sept. 25, 2011. Hannibal Gadhafi who has been held in Lebanon for more than seven years began a hunger strike Saturday, June 3, 2023, to protest his detention without trial, his lawyer said. (AP Photo/Abdel Magid al-Fergany, File) (Abdel Magid Al-Fergany, Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

BEIRUT – A son of Libya’s leader Moammar Gadhafi is suffering deteriorating health during the second week of a hunger strike to protest his detention in Beirut without trial, his lawyer said Friday.

Hannibal Gadhafi is only drinking small amounts of water, his lawyer Paul Romanos said, adding that his client is suffering from weakness and muscle pains.

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“Had it not been for his solid will, he would not have been able to continue,” Romanos said about Hannibal Gadhafi. He added that a doctor is doing a daily checkups for the detainee, who has been also suffering from back pain that turned out to be an inflammation in the spine.

Romanos said earlier this month that the back pain is due to being held in a small room where he cannot move freely or exercise.

Hannibal Gadhafi has been detained in Lebanon since 2015 after he was briefly kidnapped from neighboring Syria, where he had been living as a political refugee.

He was abducted by Lebanese militants demanding information on the whereabouts of prominent Lebanese Shiite cleric Moussa al-Sadr, who went missing in Libya 45 years ago.

Lebanese police later announced it had collected Hannibal from the northeastern city of Baalbek where he was being held. He has been detained in a Beirut jail without trial since then.

The disappearance of al-Sadr in 1978 has been a long-standing sore point in Lebanon. The cleric’s family believes he may still be alive in a Libyan prison, though most Lebanese presume al-Sadr is dead. He would be 94 years old.

Al-Sadr was the founder of the Amal group, Arabic for “hope,” and an acronym for the militia’s Arabic name, the Lebanese Resistance Brigades. The group later fought in Lebanon’s 1975-90 civil war. Lebanon’s powerful Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri heads the group.

Most of al-Sadr’s followers are convinced that Moammar Gadhafi ordered al-Sadr killed in a dispute over Libyan payments to Lebanese militias. Libya has maintained that the cleric and his two traveling companions left Tripoli in 1978 on a flight to Rome and suggested he was a victim of a power struggle among Shiites.

Gadhafi was killed by opposition fighters in 2011, ending his four-decade rule of the north African country.

Hannibal Gadhafi was born two years before al-Sadr disappeared.

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