La Porte family of Libyan politician who disappeared pleads for her return

Published: Jul. 24, 2019 at 4:44 PM EDT
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The Michiana family of a Libyan politician is pleading for her safe return after they say she was dragged from her home in Benghazi by military-clad officials last week.

16 News Now's Lauren Moss shares their story.

Doctor Adam Sergiwa, of La Porte, says he's in a state of shock. He says his sister, who has been openly critical of the militia, is missing, and the family believes the Libyan National Army is to blame.

It's been one week since family members have heard from Seham Sergiwa, and now her brother and his family in La Porte want answers.

"There was no claim about her, no group claim where she is," Adam Sergiwa said. "The only thing we know is that when she was taken, she was alive."

He says his sister is an outspoken women's rights advocate and an elected member of the House of Representatives. He believes she was taken from her home in Benghazi by members of the Libyan National Army militia, led by Khalifa Haftar.

Since 2011, Libya has been split between rival governments, with an array of militias fighting over power and oil fields. More than 1,000 people have been killed in the violence, and thousands have been displaced.

Seham Sergiwa spoke about the brutality, waste of the human life on both sides and spoke about her view of democracy.

The very day before she was kidnapped, Adam Sergiwa says his sister spoke out against the army in an interview with Egypt-based media. Her focus was on finding a more peaceful solution.

She was abducted after that interview. In that part of the country, nobody can talk openly about Heftar's policies.

Now, Seham Sergiwa's family is also speaking openly about a peaceful solution: pleading for her safe return.

The family says they have been in touch with a number of Indiana senators and representatives.

16 News Now will keep you updated as this case unfolds.