Cleric who 'directed Libya militants' banned from UK

Cleric allegedly used Arabic channel based in UK to send messages to militants in Libya fighting against the government

Cleric who 'directed Libya militants' banned from UK

The U.K. has banned a Libyan spiritual leader from entering Britain after it was alleged he was directing militants in Libya from the U.K.

The move on Friday came two months after the British daily The Guardian reported that Grand Mufti Sheikh Sadik Al-Ghariani was using an internet TV station to broadcast to militants in Libya.

A Home Office spokesman told Anadolu Agency: "We do not routinely comment on individual cases, but we are clear that those who seek to foster hatred or promote terrorism are not welcome in the United Kingdom."

Al-Ghariani, who was appointed by the post-Gaddafi government to the position of Grand Mufti in Libya two years ago following the 2011 ousting of Colonel Gaddafi, subsequently left the U.K. following The Guardian report in August which claimed he was directing militants in Tripoli to overthrow the government of Libya.

It was widely reported in U.K. media that the cleric used the Arabic-language website Tanasuh, run by a close relative of his from the U.K., to celebrate the capture of Tripoli by the Libya Dawn group, declaring: "I congratulate the revolutionaries in their victory, I give blessing to the martyrs."

Ghariani also met UN Libya envoy Bernadino Leon in Tripoli earlier this month to take part in peace talks in the country.

The Libya Dawn group has refused to recognize the Libyan government which was elected in June and fled to the eastern city of Tobruk.  

After government officials examined Ghariani’s broadcasts, he was issued with a Risk and Liaison Overseas Network (RALON) order and banned from entering the U.K.

Rival militias have clashed in Libya's main cities in the three years since the fall of the Gaddafi regime.

Rival governments

The political divisions have led to the creation of two rival seats of government in the country, each of which has its own institutions.

Vying for legislative authority are the newly-elected House of Representatives, which convenes in Tobruk, and the General National Congress, which – even though its mandate ended months ago – continues to convene in Tripoli.

The two assemblies support two different governments headquartered in the two cities.

Ghariani is thought to have initially traveled to the U.K. on a tourist visa and is reported to have been receiving private medical treatment.

AA 

Last Mod: 31 Ekim 2014, 13:56
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