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Libyan embassy staff resign in Stockholm
Residents wave a flag inside a security compound in Benghazi, Libya

Libyan embassy staff resign in Stockholm

Published: 21 Feb 2011 15:46 GMT+01:00
Updated: 21 Feb 2011 15:46 GMT+01:00

In an open letter sent to media outlets on Monday, the embassy staff said that they gave their notice and urged others to follow suit, directly criticising the regime of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi.

"We, the undersigned staff of the Libyan embassy in Stockholm, condemn the

genocide that is taking place in Libya against civilians as a consequence of the legitimate demands for a life of dignity and without the despot Qaddafi's continued misrule and corruption," translator Sayed Jalabi and receptionist Hamid Kassem, both of Syrian origin, and secretary Abdelali Mahfouf of Morocco wrote in a letter on Monday.

"We find the situation intolerable for us: we do not want to be passive when we see that people are rising against the tyrant despite the obvious risk that they may shed their own blood. We resign in protest and urge others to make their voices heard," they added.

Jalabi felt that he had to take a stand in light of current events.

"We would feel like hypocrites if we sat here and continued to work as if nothing had happened even though we actually support the popular protests in Libya," he told public broadcaster Sveriges Television (SVT) on Monday.

The Libyan embassy in Stockholm could not be reached for comment.

Mouna Bakkar, the wife of Jalabi, however told AFP in a telephone interview that the three men had been employed at the Libyan embassy, with her 37-year-old husband working as an interpreter, Kassem working in the consulate and Mahfouf working as a receptionist.

Jalabi, who arrived in Sweden in 1998, had since become a Swedish citizen, as had Kassem, Bakkar said, adding she did not know whether Mahfouf had obtained citizenship in Sweden.

On the same day, protesters demonstrated outside the Libyan embassy in Stockholm, demanding the departure of Qaddafi and calling for an end to the killings.

One of them, asylum seeker Yahya Edriss, 21, learned that his 42-year-old brother Nasser Mohamed Edriss Shemi, 42, was killed in Tripoli, the country's capital, on Sunday.

"He was shot outside military headquarters. I want to go home now and keep fighting. I am more motivated and strengthened in my fighting spirit," said Edriss.

One of the other demonstrators outside the Libyan embassy on Valhallavägen was 50-year-old opposition activist Shaban Elgale, who disputed promises made by Qaddafi's son during a Sunday television appearance that the country's constitution would be reformed.

"The people have demanded that for a long time. They lie all the time," he told the TT news agency.

TT/AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

16:07 February 21, 2011 by UScitizen
The embassy staff will probably ask for asylum now.
16:14 February 21, 2011 by loudasthunder
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
16:24 February 21, 2011 by SarahPalin
First they come here claiming their life is in danger or that they are seeking a better life...

then they get permanent / citizenship...

then they don't like what they see...

finally they want everyone else to change to their views and want mosques all over the place, calling it a religion of peace while slitting throats.

Go back to point 1 and start over.
16:29 February 21, 2011 by truthworthy
Well done, no one should work with Qaddafi anymore. Hey Xenophobes of TheLocal stop crushing the moment and applaud these people for their courage.
16:41 February 21, 2011 by krow
People. Let us be generous here, Sweden is not the only country to take asylum.
16:58 February 21, 2011 by othrex
To UScitizen, loudasthunder and SarahPalin: I hope one day u will feel what it is like loosing one of your relatives while your far away from home.

From the article:

"

One of them, asylum seeker Yahya Edriss, 21, learned that his 42-year-old brother Nasser Mohamed Edriss Shemi, 42, was killed in Tripoli, the country's capital, on Sunday.

"He was shot outside military headquarters. I want to go home now and keep fighting. I am more motivated and strengthened in my fighting spirit," said Edriss.

"
17:25 February 21, 2011 by benraph
The Embassy staff know that Gadafi time is coming to an end. They just want to be on the winning side. They were part of his Criminal corrupt regime until today. So they either go back to a new regime as hero's for resigning or clame political asylum if he stays. Talk about hedging your bets!
17:36 February 21, 2011 by matona1
it is very easy to sit and criticize issues and event,seden is a nice country that does not mean it is the only one that take refugee in the world,their are many swedish scattered all over the world,immigration is among first business in history,so stop it ,let us think twice b4 u comment on serious issue pls
18:33 February 21, 2011 by Ravioli
Hopefully, they will stay and fight for their country rather than chicken-out and seek asylum in Sweden.
19:06 February 21, 2011 by Nitwade
the country of controversy is LIBYA

Facts

people who resigned

Sayed Jalabi (translator with origin of Syria)

Hamid Kassem (receptionist with origin of Syria)

Abdelali Mahfouf (secretary with origin of Morocco)
20:15 February 21, 2011 by Iraniboy
Sweeeet :)

I sometimes wonder if some of these trolls in the 'thelocal.se' who always cry out about immigrants are real people with some sense of humanity and common sense.
20:46 February 21, 2011 by grantike
but how does embassy staffs become citizens.on what grounds because working at embassy is like living in the country you are working for. have them moved here before working there.
21:37 February 21, 2011 by Ravioli
@Iraniboy- It's only 1 type of immigrant that people complain about. And you know which one that is.
22:22 February 21, 2011 by rumcajs
@ UScitizen, loudasthunder and SarahPalin,

One has to be sick or unbelieveable stupid to talk about immigration and call these people names. They are fighting againts a totalitarian regime they have there and getting killed for it.... and you complain about them.

At least the are being brave... at least for once.... none of you would have the balls even to say what you say in a pub.... not even that.

@ UScitizen, "I've lost a few and I know how it feels".... and which role were they playing? I guess they were soldiers of the most agressive country in the planet, not civilians.
22:45 February 21, 2011 by Niggletriple
How convenient - more asylem seekers!!
23:14 February 21, 2011 by sendia
@othrex

"One of them, asylum seeker Yahya Edriss, 21, learned that his 42-year-old brother Nasser Mohamed Edriss Shemi, 42, was killed in Tripoli, the country's capital, on Sunday.

"He was shot outside military headquarters. I want to go home now and keep fighting. I am more motivated and strengthened in my fighting spirit," said Edriss."

He is motivated to go home and fight and at the same time remains as an asylum seeker! why doesn't he withdraw his asylum request and go to back to fight, improve whatever???
00:08 February 22, 2011 by Ravioli
+ and which role were they playing? I guess they were soldiers of the most agressive country in the planet, not civilians.+

@rumcajs- I;m guessing that they weren't the ones flying planes into buildings either. Here's a lesson- Don't play with the bull or you will get the horns.
02:46 February 22, 2011 by mcwin1
As a genuine 10th generation US citizen we Americans have no room talk.

1) Our country is 99.7%immigrant(the rest are Native Americans) so every US citizen immigrant basher had an immigrant relative without any question.

2) Assimilation takes generations. The Scandinavian immigrant waves of the 1880's to early 1900's had fifty years to assimilate.

3)Sarah Palin is an un-educated,religious fanatic who speaks in tongues,and believes in biblical prophesy as fact while shunning math and science education. The Palin ,Bachman phenomenon is Luddite philosophy gone haywire.

4) Watch Glen Beck on FOX news to see what glorified lunacy is all about.
05:01 February 22, 2011 by UScitizen
@ rumcajs

If your english is good enough, go back and read my post. Did I call any of "these people" names? Who exactally are "these people" you're refering to? Give them a name so we'll know who you're talking about.

Oh, I said othrex (your brother?) made himself look like a fool for judging others that he knows nothing about. Is that any different from you calling people "unbelieveable stupid"? I guess now we know there are at least TWO fools posting to this story.

So. which pub do you frequent and when do you want to get together and talk about this? Anything I say here, I'll say publically. You'll need to wear a sign around your neck with your user name so I'll know who you are.

And just so you won't feel discriminated against, I'll wear a sign also saying "I'm with stupid" so everyone will know we're together.

And speaking of calling people names,..... rumcajs.... how is that pronounced? It looks like it might be the same as dumba**. I hope you can understand that.

@ mcwin1

I'm not a 10th generation UScitizen. My immigrant heritage doesn't go back that far unless you count my great-great-grandmother on my mother's side who was Cherokee, from the Wolf Tribe in North Carolina. She married an Irish immigrant. On my father's side, my grandparents were Polish and Irish immigrants.

I'm an immigrant here is Sweden. I've got nothing against immigration per se, my beef is with people who use and abuse the system. Good honest hard-working immigrants can be advantageous to any nation. But those that take everything without working for it and then bite the hand that feeds them are no better than mongrel dogs who don't deserve my respect.

I guess I better stop now before I upset dumb.... I mean rumcajs again. He might get mad and not want to meet me at the pub next weekend.

Oh, one final thing to all my dear friends here on The Local forum: yes, I can take a joke and smile about it. Now that you all know I have Polish heritage.... well, I can hear the jokes coming. :O))
05:11 February 22, 2011 by technoviking
The age of widespread Islamic theocracies may be upon us when the dust settles in a few years. Let's hope not.

But the Islamists are certainly dedicated, patient and crafty. I don't see them allowing all these power vacuums to slip by without grabbing hard for them.

And the general populace in most of these countries are not secular "moderates". They are religious nuts.

http://pewresearch.org/databank/dailynumber/?NumberID=1184

Sometimes the evil you know is better than the one you don't. We'll see.
07:37 February 22, 2011 by wolverine2k
Well, pack all these patriotic people and send them to libya to fight for democracy. And this is no bashing. It is a straight appeal from my heart.
08:28 February 22, 2011 by Uncle
@iraniboy

iraniboy... you know what I am going to ask don't you?

Let's repeat that again... to make sure... As an "open person", who condemns the cruel "zionist regime" in horrors that they throw upon the innocents by taking off an olive tree that serves snipers for shooting into kindergartens... Where is the condemnation of demonstration bombings from fighter jets by a peaceful muslim leader?

Where is the outcry to boycotte the lovely muslim regime (oh, sorry, legitimate government) for bringing in Guinean and Chadian mercenaries, who execute people on the streets in hundreds? mmm?

Where? after all, you allegedly care about ALL people or...? Or maybe you just care about people who oppose them Jews and "crusaders"? Mmm?

Ahhhh... Maybe then and only then you are a peaceloving fighter against the oppressors. How unexpected.
09:03 February 22, 2011 by technoviking
@ uncle

The reality is that we treat Muslims like children.

We allow them to cry about racism while they voice aggressive anti-semitic and misogynistic views.

We listen to them blame "a few bad apples" as day after day, the Muslim world explodes with violence over and over again.

We hear them blame the West for all their problems when they can't even maintain the most basic rule of law and order in their own societies.

We'd be showing them more respect if we held them to the same standards that we hold ourselves to which is to call BS what it is.

This comes from our culture where kids get trophies for coming in last place and everyone is a winner even if they dropped the ball every play.

That's a comfortable but it's not reality just asJews and the West are not to blame for the backwardness of the Muslim world. The people who live there are. But we give them "trophies" and look the other way anyway.
10:02 February 22, 2011 by HeilNizar
Arab countries didn't and shouldn't wait for change calls to come from the west, they are finally in control. They are cleaning the western made mess, these idiot dictators are assigned and supported by Europe & USA.

Its amazing how people forget things so quickly, at the time Arab countries were a world power and science nursery, Europe was sinking in dark ages ruled by the church.

I have no idea why these guys even seek asylum in Europe, life in their countries is more fun, the weather is more beautiful, the bond among people is stronger. I wish Europe would close their immigration gates for the sake of both sides.
10:03 February 22, 2011 by UScitizen
You know how some abused women stay in the relationship, even thought the beatings and abuse continues? They feel like they're trapped and they need to hold on to the abuser, no matter what becasuse there's nothing else for them.

It seems to me that that's the way most muslims must feel..... that they're trapped in their religion. When suicide bombers kill their own people.... women and children, not soldiers or dictators, it's accepted and everyone continues because they're afraid to speak out against their religion. That would be an instant death peanalty.

So even though the radicals continue abusing and killing their own people, the people stay and take it. All this so called revolution against dictators..... The Islamists are the true abusers, the true terrorists. They need to be removed the same as the dictators.
12:05 February 22, 2011 by HeilNizar
@UScitizen,

I agree with you, but..

All religions are horrible fairy-tales, Jesus was the son of a woman who had sex with some guy then was too ashamed of it and claimed God was the donor. Mohammad was a pedophile, but I don't know the exact reason behind Jews, it must be another horrible cult thing too. Islam and all the other religions will disappear, religions and so called God are outdated traditions.

These people are really trapped, more and more they are becoming outcast because of it, they know that, most of them are not religious anyway.
12:11 February 22, 2011 by UScitizen
@ HeilNizar

I'll have to say, some of the worst crimes in history have been committed in the name of religion. All religions are guilty. Thanks for the insight.
13:02 February 22, 2011 by Uncle
@technoviking

Spot on! The treatment of muslims is alike treatement of children or challenged people. You will be guilty beating them, even if they attack you, because you should know better.

Look at NeilNizar for example. (I think that UScitizen had same theories).

We blame the west in the backwarness of muslims. Is there a basis for this? What, asians were not colonies? What, Poland, Estonia, Finland, Hungary were not under foreign foot for hundreds of years? Does it mean that they explode in buses? Does it mean that their economies are in the same awful situation? Do they make 50% of their population into practical slaves by law?

How about the muslims that were never colonized, like the somalians? Who is guilty there?

And what is incredible, apparently the one guilty in Middle East backwardness is also West that controlled it for some 30 years and not the muslim turks that controlled it for 600 years.

And in regards to the natural resources "stealing"...

What would happen if the WEST would not invent a use for oil? This oil would lay in the ground until now and muslims would never use it, right?

They have sand as well, but they have no idea how to make silicone and what to do with it. So apparently buying sand from them is also "stealing" natural resources.

Muslim propaganda is scrambling to invent reasons for their failure in everything and the good and open westerners are actually swallowing this propaganda.
13:27 February 22, 2011 by krow
@U Scitizen and HeilNizar.

You both have no right to condem what you have never witness in life. Some of us who believe in God do so because we have intimate and experiential knowledge about what we believe. I hope and pray you have an encounter with God in your private lives to acknowledge His existence.
13:54 February 22, 2011 by UScitizen
@ krow

"You both have no right to condem what you have never witness in life."

And there you are, talking about what you BELIEVE, not what you've witnessed. Funny, huh? I do believe in the existence of God. I'm southern Baptist and lived in the Bible Belt before I moved over here. I've been a faithful member of quiet a few churches as I moved through life, I've taught Sunday school, I've done much more.

You're just like the other mindless idiots who take one comment, interpret it how you want, then judge and condemn the person. So what religion do you practice that telly you to judge and condemn your fellow man?

It's certainly not the Christian religion. if you claim it is, you're not reading the same Bible I read.
13:55 February 22, 2011 by Uncle
"You both have no right to condem what you have never witness in life"

Excellent logic. Therefore the ones who can condemn serial killers, SS officers and pedophiles are the ones, who suffered from them personally or were such persons themselves.

Not that I compare religion to the list above, but it is just interesting to make a point.
15:20 February 22, 2011 by HeilNizar
@krow,

Pray baby pray

@Uncle,

I'm not pro Islam, but I know "USA Empire" is behind those dictators for 2 things, natural resources specially oil, and protecting those big nosed Israelis. But its an empire that is already falling apart, just like all those empires before it.

It seems you didn't go deep in history, I said Islam is another cult thing (Just like all other religions), and I said Mohammad was a pedophile (Just like a lot of church guys), but still they delivered many scientists and were booming when Europe was much worse than Africa now.
16:27 February 22, 2011 by Uncle
Mmm- Big nosed Israelis. Cute. Goebbels - wasn't it? Only then it was just Jews. now it is possible to hide antisemitism behind Israeli policy.

Now, how exactly did US was "behind" these 2 dictators (I take it - Qaddafi and Mubarak?) for protecting the big nosed ones

How was supporting Mubarak and Qaddafi helping them awful Jews? Because on certain stage these dictators agreed to stop sending their soldiers to a meat grinder? Like this these dictators protected israelis? WTH are you banging on about?

Now, going back in history and finding out how "scientific" the muslim world was may not help, because scientifically it was MAYBE at the same level as Europe. The problem is that the muslims are still THERE. 1 thousand years a go. We are HERE. That is the diff.
16:41 February 22, 2011 by HeilNizar
@Uncle,

Its frustrating to run a conversation with someone who doesn't have enough knowledge like you. Just read some more dude.
17:32 February 22, 2011 by Uncle
Yep....

Retreated as all of you do. Although it would be fun to hear about gullible muslims that are ruled by the big nosed ones. Always a pleasure to talk to someone who got an education of 8th century.
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