Today is a momentous day due to the death of Muammar Gaddafi in Sirte, Libya.
As most of you have probably heard, Gaddafi was found hiding in a drain in his birthplace. Similar to Saddam Hussein, a man who once held so much power was reduced to hiding in a tiny space trying to avoid capture.
Although Gaddafi’s death is being celebrated by Libyans around the world and the international community, I feel slightly uncomfortable for several reasons. The press coverage, showing pictures of Gaddafi’s bloodied corpse (which looked scarily like Leatherface from ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’), is – in my opinion – irresponsible. Newspapers, like The Guardian, showed pictures on the front of its website as did the BBC News Channel. Many people took to Twitter complaining that their kids had seen the images as the news channel had not made any warning before showing the pictures.
My feelings regarding Gaddafi’s death are similar to the killing of Osama Bin Laden. Although I am well aware of both men’s atrocities, I dislike the celebrations seen all over the world regarding their deaths. I think their deaths should be commemorated with people taking some time to remember their victims.
Today should be a reverential day where we remember the people killed in the Lockerbie Bombing, Yvonne Fletcher, Eman al-Obeidi and all the others who have been injured, abused or killed due to Gaddafi and his arms sales.
I would have preferred to have seen Gaddafi brought to trial although, having seen Hosni Mubarak’s convenient “descent into ill-health” during his trial, I am aware that the process isn’t perfect.
I understand that Gaddafi was a dictator, and an appalling human being, but I think it is wrong to celebrate anyone’s death. We should be concentrating on helping Libya making a smooth, peaceful transition into its new government.