Title: The Martyr Omar al - Mukhtar
Editor(s): Luciano Martinis
Publisher(s): Garyounis University Bengasi, Lybia
Language(s): Italian, Arabic
Size: 22 x 23 cm
Print: La Tipografica, Roma, Italy
Nation(s) and year(s) of Protest: Lybia,
In Libya, Omar al-Mukhtār is considered a national hero for having led the resistance against the Italian invasion of Libya starting in 1911. In December 1928, the government of Cyrenaica and Tripolitania was taken over by General Pietro Badoglio and in 1931 he was arrested by the Italian Army. Omar al-Mukhtār was condemned by a mock trial as General Badoglio ordered Graziani to 'hold a regular trial and consequent sentence, which will undoubtedly be the death penalty, have it carried out in one of the large indigenous population concentrations'. Furthermore, Badoglio ordered the sentence to be carried out in the largest concentration camp for Libyans, so that it would be seen by the largest number of people. The trial took place in the Palazzo Littorio in Benghazi in a summary manner; according to Giorgio Candeloro, Omar al-Mukhtar was entitled to the status of prisoner of war and therefore his trial would have been completely illegal.
This book traces the main stages with period pictures of poor quality but of great documentary value.
The execution took place at 9am on 16 September 1931 in Soluch, 56 kilometres south of Benghazi, Cyrenaica, where 20,000 Libyans arrived to witness the execution of 70-year-old ʿOmar al-Mukhtār, whose last words were those of a well-known Koranic verse: Innā li-llāhi wa innā ilayHi rāgiʿūna ('To God we belong and to Him we return').