Back to top
Sami ElKawafi

Sami Elkawafi


Sami ElKawafi was a seventeen-year old youth activist, who campaigned for peace and democracy in Libya and publicly stood against the bombings and killings. Around midnight of 19-20 September 2014, gunmen assassinated Sami ElKawafi and fellow youth activist Tawfik Bensaud while they were driving near Al-Kish in Benghazi.


Libya remains a country mired in political turmoil as competing political factions vie for power amid a landscape marked by the rise of independent localized militas, some of which have aligned with forces loyal to the former regime or with transnational Islamist movements.

Human rights defenders (HRDs) remain at severe risk due to the general insecurity and the spread of the armed conflict across the country. HRDs have been victims of assassinations, kidnappings, violent attacks, torture and unlawful detentions. The situation deteriorated further when armed groups took control of major cities. The closure of foreign diplomatic missions also affected HRDs as it deprived them of a support network.