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Mustafa Abdul Jalil
مصطفى عبد الجليل
Chairman of the National Transitional Council of Libya

In office
5 March 2011 – 8 August 2012
Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril
Ali Tarhouni (Acting)
Abdurrahim El-Keib
Vice President Abdul Hafiz Ghoga
Mustafa Honi
Preceded by Muammar Gaddafi (Leader and Guide of the Revolution)
Mohamed Abu Al-Quasim al-Zwai (Secretary General of General People's Congress)
Succeeded by Mohammed Ali Salim (Acting President of the General National Congress)
Personal details
Born 1952 (age 69–70)
Bayda, Libya
Political party Independent
Alma mater University of Libya
Religion Sunni Islam

Mustafa Abdul Jalil or Abdul-Jalil[1] (Arabic language: مصطفى عبد الجليل‎, also transcribed Abdul-Jelil, Abd-al-Jalil,[2] Abdel-Jalil, Abdeljalil or Abdu Al Jeleil) (born 1952)[3] is a Libyan politician who was the Chairman of the National Transitional Council from 5 March 2011 until its dissolution on 8 August 2012. This position meant he was de facto head of state during a transitional period after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi's government in the Libyan Civil War, and until the handover of power to the General National Congress.

Before the war, Abdul Jalil served as Minister of Justice (officially, the Secretary of the General People's Committee of Justice) under Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.[2] He was noted in some news media for his stance against various human rights violations in Libya, although Diana West accused him of intransigence during the Bulgarian nurses affair.[4]


After graduating from the department of Shari'a and Law in the Arabic Language and Islamic Studies faculty of University of Libya in 1975, Abdul Jalil was initially "assistant to the Secretary of the Public Prosecutor" in Bayda, before being appointed a judge in 1978.[5]

Abdul Jalil was a judge "known for ruling consistently against the regime,"[6] before becoming justice minister in 2007. In January 2010 he attempted to resign on national television over the government's failure to release political prisoners. His resignation was rejected. He resigned on 21 February 2011 after being sent to Benghazi to negotiate the release of hostages taken by rebels,[7][8] being the first senior official to do so.[6]

In classified US diplomatic cables leaked by the website Wikileaks, he is described as open and cooperative. Following his resignation from Gaddafi's government in protest at its actions during the Libyan Civil War, a bounty of 500,000 dinars, roughly 400,000 US$, was announced for his capture.[9]

Stances noted in the media

Pre-2011 protests

In August 2010, a representative of Human Rights Watch praised the fact that Abdul Jalil had "reportedly taken a strong stance against arbitrary arrests and prolonged detention without trial", commenting that:[10]

The Minister of Justice has taken a very good stance on this group of prisoners. He’s publicly criticized the security agencies for continuing to detain prisoners, despite the fact that they have been acquitted by the courts. And, the problem really is that the Internal Security Agency and the Ministry of Interior have been ignoring court orders.

In a paper published in November 2010, Amnesty International stated similarly, that:[11]

At least 200 others remain detained after serving their sentences or being acquitted by courts. Justice Minister Mostafa Abdeljalil has publicly called for the release of these prisoners, but the Internal Security Agency, which holds them, refuses to comply... Justice Minister Abdeljalil has said that he is unable to order an investigation into abuses by Internal Security Agency Officers because they have immunity. Only the Interior Ministry can waive immunity, but it has consistently refused to do so, he said.

Human Rights Watch made the same observations in its submission to the 2010 Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the United Nations Human Rights Council.[12]

L'Express noted that before being named a minister of justice of Libya in 2007, he was the president of the Libyan Court of Appeal. The paper opined that Abdul Jalil was responsible for the "intransigence" of the court in confirming the death sentences in the "Bulgarian nurses" HIV trial under Gaddafi.[13]

2011 protests and civil war

During the Libyan Civil War he was dispatched by Gaddafi's son to Benghazi to allegedly "negotiate the release of hostages taken by Islamists".[6][7] On 21 February, the privately owned Quryna newspaper reported that he had resigned over "the excessive use of violence against anti-government protesters".[8] On 22 February, he claimed in an interview with Swedish newspaper Expressen that he had proof Gaddafi had personally ordered the 1988 Lockerbie bombing.[14] To date, he has not revealed this proof.

On 24 February, the BBC reported that, at a meeting of opposition politicians, former military officers and tribal leaders the eastern city of Bayda, Abdul Jalil said there would be no talks with the Libyan leader and called for him to step down immediately.[15]

On 5 March, Reuters reported that Abdul Jalil claimed to have "official contacts with European and Arab (countries)" and that "some countries will announce their recognition" of the National Transitional Council "soon".[16]

On 9 March, Abdul Jalil called for the imposition of a no-fly zone over Libya.[1]

As the Battle of Tripoli tilted in favor of forces answering to the NTC, Abdul Jalil said on 24 August that democratic elections would be held in eight months. He also said that Gaddafi and his sons, once captured, would be tried in Libya prior to being sent to The Hague for trial at the International Criminal Court.[17]

Efforts to form an interim government

On 24 February, opposition politicians, former military officers, tribal leaders, academics and businessmen held a meeting in the eastern city of Bayda.[15] The meeting was chaired by Abdul Jalil, who quit the government a few days before. The delegates stressed the importance of the national unity of Libya and stated that Tripoli is the capital city. They discussed proposals for interim administration with many delegates asking for UN intervention in Libya.[18] The podium at the meeting displayed the pre-Gaddafi era flag of the Kingdom of Libya (1951–1969).[19][20]

On 25 February, Al Jazeera reported that talks are taking place between "personalities from eastern and western Libya" to form an interim government for the post-Gaddafi era.[19] On 26 February, it was reported that Abdul Jalil was leading the process of forming an interim government, to be based in Benghazi.[21][22] Abdul Jalil stated that "Gaddafi alone bore responsibility for the crimes that have occurred" in Libya, he also insisted on the unity of Libya and that Tripoli is the capital.[23] The efforts to form an alternative government have been supported by the Libyan ambassador in the United States, Ali Suleiman Aujali.[24][25] The Libyan deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Ibrahim Dabbashi, has stated that he supported a new alternative government "in principle".[26]

The members of the new interim government were to be announced on 27 February at a press conference in the city of Benghazi. Some of the portfolios were to be left vacant for representatives for areas that were still controlled by the Gaddafi-led government.[27] The proposed interim government aims to remain in power for three months after which elections will be held.[28] The new interim government is to include both civilians and persons from the military.[29][30]

Abdul Jalil was stated to be the head of the National Transitional Council in the Council's founding statement of 5 March 2011.[31]

See also

  • General People's Committee of Libya


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Rebel leader calls for 'immediate action' on no-fly zone". CNN. 2011-03-10. Retrieved 2011-03-18. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "World leaders - Chiefs of State and Cabinet Members of Foreign Governments (Libya, as at March 17, 2010)". CIA. Retrieved 2011-02-23. 
  3. "Provisional rebel government leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil". Monsters and Critics. 2011-03-10. Retrieved 2011-03-18. 
  4. Diana West (26 August 2011). "Post-Qaddafi Libya: The Triumph of "Bulgarian Nurses Affair" Cabal". 
  5. National Transitional Council, members
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Levinson, Charles (10 March 2011). "Rebel Leadership Casts a Wide Net". The Wall Street Journal. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Libyan Islamists seize arms, take hostages". The Sydney Morning Herald. 21 February 2011. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Libyan minister quits over crackdown - report". Reuters Africa. 21 February 2011. 
  9. "PROFILE: Provisional rebel government leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil". Monsters & Critics. 10 March 2011. Retrieved 31 July 2011. 
  10. Clottey, Peter. "Rights Researcher Calls for Expanded Libyan Prisoner Compensation". 2010-08-08. Voice Of America. Retrieved 2011-02-23. 
  11. "Public statement: Libya: Carry out UN calls for reform: Government rejects much-needed changes at first Human Rights Council review". 2010-11-17. Retrieved 2011-02-23. 
  12. Report prepared by Human Rights Watch for the United Nations Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review (UPR), dated April 2010
  13. Alexandre, Lévy (2011-03-29). "Quand le chef des rebelles libyens oeuvrait pour Kadhafi [When the Libyan rebel leader was working for Gaddafi"]. l' Retrieved 2011-04-04. 
  14. "Muammar Gaddafi ordered Lockerbie bombing, says Libyan minister". News Australia. 2011-02-24. Retrieved 2011-02-23.  citing an original interview with Expressen in Sweden: "Khadaffi gav order om Lockerbie-attentatet [Gaddafi ordered the Lockerbie bombing"]. 2011-02-23. Retrieved 2011-02-23.  English translation
  15. 15.0 15.1 "Libya protests: Gaddafi embattled by opposition gains". BBC. 2011-02-24. Retrieved 2011-02-24. 
  16. "Libyan rebel Council expects international recognition soon". Reuters UK. 5 March 2011. 
  17. "Rebels battle for Tripoli as Kadhafi hides out". 24 August 2011. Retrieved 25 August 2011. 
  18. "Discussions under way for provisional government in Libya". Malta Star. 2011-02-25. Retrieved 2011-03-18. 
  19. 19.0 19.1 "Provisional Government Forming In Eastern Libya". NPR. 2011-02-23. Retrieved 2011-03-18. 
  20. "Libya’s Eastern Rebels, Long-Time Qaddafi Foes, Driving Revolt". Businessweek. 2011-02-25. Retrieved 2011-03-18. 
  21. "Terror in Tripoli as pressure builds in Yemen". ABS-CBN News. 26 February 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-18. 
  22. "Live Blog - Libya Feb 26". Al Jazeera. 2011-02-25. Retrieved 2011-03-18. 
  23. "Ex Libyan minister forms interim govt-report". London South East. 2011-02-26. Retrieved 2011-03-18. 
  24. "Libya envoy to U.S. backs interim government". Reuters Africa. 2011-02-26. Retrieved 2011-03-18. 
  25. "Live Blog - Libya Feb 27". Al Jazeera. 27 February 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-18. 
  26. "Interim Libyan govt wins support". Al Jazeera. 2011-02-27. Retrieved 2011-03-18. 
  27. "Anti Gadhaffi forces form interim government for Libya". Digital Journal. Retrieved 2011-03-18. 
  28. Klapper, Bradley (2011-02-26). "Envoy claims Libyans set up caretaker government". Retrieved 2011-03-18. 
  29. "Benghazi 'caretaker' government to prepare democratic election in Libya". RIA Novosti. 2011-02-27. Retrieved 2011-03-18. 
  30. "Libyan Protest Leaders Form National Council in East". Voice of America. 2011-02-27. Retrieved 2011-03-18. 
  31. "Founding statement of the Interim National Transitional Council". National Transitional Council. 2011-03-05. Archived from the original on 2011-03-07. Retrieved 2011-03-07. 

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Muammar Gaddafi
as Leader and Guide of the Revolution of Libya
Chairman of the National Transitional Council of Libya
Succeeded by
Mohammed Ali Salim
as Acting President of the General National Congress
Preceded by
Mohamed Abu Al-Quasim al-Zwai
as Secretary General of General People's Congress of Libya

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