Founded by an international team with a record in pro-democracy activism, Sadeq Institute draws its name from a historical Libyan personality whose demise continues to inspire Libyans worldwide pushing for a democratic Libya today.
In June 1984, Sadeq Hamed Shwehdi, a young, thirty-year old Libyan human rights and political activist opposing Col. Moammar Qathafi’s regime, was sentenced to death and hung live on state television in a basketball stadium in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi. For holding views that opposed Col. Qathafi’s, Sadeq was accused of belonging to terrorist groups and being an American agent. As he sat on the floor in the middle of the stadium with his arms chained behind his back, pleading the court for mercy prior to his execution, he was forced to publicly apologize for opposing the regime. The subsequent chilling scenes of his hanging amidst a crowd of thousands of men, women and schoolchildren, remain an indelible memory in the minds of the Libyan people who aspire for freedom.
Three decades later, Sadeq Institute was established. Inspired by the very freedom of thought embodied by Sadeq Shwehdi in 1984, Sadeq Institute is committed to cultivating an open and informed national debate in Libya in his memory and in that of the thousands fallen in the battle for freedom and change.