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Geopolitics

Libya: Meet The Quiet Lawyer Who Sparked A Revolution

What pushed Libyans to rise up against Gaddafi's regime? It may have all begun with the Feb. 15 arrest of Fathi Tirbil, a young Benghazi attorney known for his probes into earlier massacres.

Courthouse Square, Benghazi
Courthouse Square, Benghazi
Nicolas Bourcier

BENGHAZI - It all started in the home of a 38-year-old lawyer. At around 3 p.m. on February 15, Fathi Tirbil opened the door of his small Benghazi bachelor's apartment to see more than 20 armed Libyan national security officers waiting for him. They pushed their way in, seized his computer, phones and papers, and then escorted him to the local police station.

By 6 p.m., the news of his arrest had already started to spread. A handful of fellow attorneys and human rights activists then rushed to the despised headquarters of the police, demanding an explanation. A few hours later, they were joined by several hundred protesters. Without knowing it, Fathi Tirbil had just triggered what would shortly become the third major uprising in the Arab world, following those in Tunisia and Egypt.

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Mariateresa Fichele

"Dottoré, I know you’re going to say I’m superstitious and strange, you always give rational answers ... but I have to ask you a question: Is it true that ever since our stadium was renamed after Maradona, Napoli doesn't win at home anymore?"

"So?"

"Could it be that Saint Paul, to whom the stadium was initially dedicated, got offended and is making us lose now?"

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