Beginning in February 2011, a tragedy befall Libya after the United Stated launched covert and overt operations to overthrow the ‘Jamahiriya’ government led by Muammar Gaddafi. Too often, it is easy to focus on the larger picture and ignore the individual human tragedy resulting from imperialist militarism. With this in mind, we present the testimony of Khaled K. El-Hamedi, whose family, including pregnant wife, were killed by a NATO bombing raid on June 20th, 2011.
“My name is Khaled K. El-Hamedi, I am Libyan and I run an international charity for children called the International Organization for Peace, Care and Relief (IOPCR). We have done work helping children affected by conflict including helping orphans in Bosnia and Gaza, Palestine, where I also helped with reconciliation efforts between Hamas and Fatah.
In early February 2011 my country witnessed what now clearly seems to be a Western organised attack on my country, starting with protests fuelled by comments such as those by British Foreign Minister William Hague when he said our leader – Muammar Gaddafi – had fled to Venezuela. Western media outlets and some Arab channels such as Al-Arabiya and Al-Jazeera helped to escalate the situation which then resulted in the NATO bombardment of my country since March 2011. I decided to stay in my country despite the devastation from the NATO campaign to help the civilians, especially the children, to cope with this war.
I am the son of a well-known Libyan army leader and that seems to be enough for some media to broadcast the lie that I had a personal militia that was attacking Libyan civilians. Like so many other stories this has been a complete fabrication.
My children used to ask me what the noises were from the NATO bombing raids on our country, to try and ensure my children would not get too upset I told them that they are fireworks and assured them that we soon would go and visit Euro-Disney, something they had always wanted to do.
On June 20, tragedy befell my family after my Son Khweldi’s third birthday, NATO attacked my family home in Sorman with seven bombs, killing my Son Khweldi, my pregnant Wife Sala, my Daughter Khalida who was four and a half years old and Salam who was one and a half years old, and our chef Bashir. They have claimed it was a military site, but it was the family farm house to which we used to invite Libyan children and orphans to see our small collection of animals and to enjoy the grounds of our farm.
NATO bombing of this kind has not just targeted my family, but hundreds of other families now in Libya, in what is clearly an illegal war waged by NATO that is not protecting civilians but murdering them in their hundreds.
This NATO aggression must cease, and I am seeking justice through international courts against NATO for this crimes.”
Khaled K. El-Hamedi was born on December 31, 1973 in Tripoli, Libya. He grew up in the city and received his Bachelor of Engineering Science with a major in Computing in 1996 form the Faculty of Engineering at Tripoli’s Al Fatah University. In 2001 he obtained a Masters Degree in Business Administration in Telecommunications from the International University in Geneva, Switzerland, having passed with high distinction.
As President of the International Organization for Peace, Care and Relief, a non-governmental organization with special consultative status on the Economic and Social Council, of the United Nations, El-Hamedi stimulated the activities of the organization in many humanitarian fields around the globe.