Manchester doctor fears for family held captive in Libya

A Manchester doctor, whose father and three brothers have been allegedly detained in Libya, said he fears for their lives.

Ahmed Sewehli, 36, an NHS psychiatrist, said two of his captured brothers Kalil, 31, and Shtewi, 25, have dual British and Libyan nationality.

They are believed to be held with their father, Abdurrahman, a critic of Libyan leader Col Gaddafi.

Mr Sewehli fears they will be killed in Col Gaddafi's Tripoli compound.

Mr Sewehli's father, who has a PhD in engineering from Southampton University and returned to Libya in 1988 to run the family's orange farm, has had meetings at Col Gaddafi's request over the years where he opposed his regime.

"I remember my father saying that once he told Gaddafi that he needed to stop surrounding himself with cronies and Gaddafi just replied: 'I can't'," said Mr Sewehli from Cheetham Hill.

He said that the two men had been at high school together in Misurata and that he feared that his family had been captured as an example to other Libyans to deter them from speaking out.

Image caption Abdurrahman Sewehli with his Manchester-based daughter Halima

"My father had recently been on Al Jazeera television saying that nobody should kill Libyan people and that Gaddafi should go.

"In truth I have been waiting for this [capture] to happen.

"I'm worried that Gaddafi may be using my family and all the other people in the compound as a human shield, but I know he would just kill anyone and is trying to round up all the people who are leading the demonstrations.

Mr Sewehli said that he believes from speaking to relatives on the telephone his family were taken into the compound within the past two days.

He said: "When I heard they were taken I feared the worst."

"We are just hoping that there is something the British Foreign Office can do for them."

Mr Sewehli said the older two brothers were born in Britain, but that his 19-year-old brother Mohammed, a medical student at a Tripoli university was a Libyan national like his father.

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