Oman Shabaan, the Libyan hero, seen a year ago explaining how he captured the former Libyan dictator
Omran Shaaban, the 22-year-old Libyan hero, credited with capturing the former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi last October, died on Tuesday at the American hospital in France, 57 days after being kidnapped, shot and tortured by supporters of the late dictator in city of Bani Walid, south west of Libya.
Following mediation efforts by Mr. Mohamed Al Magarief, the president of the ruling General National Congress, GNC, who headed the delegation that visited the city of Bani Walid on September 10 to negotiate the issue of those kidnapped outside the city of Bani Walid and other security issues.
Omran was freed last week along with two others and flown by aero-ambulance to Misurata where he was found to have torture marks on his body and a bullet would close to his spinal cord. He was then flown to Paris for treatment at the American Hospital there but died on Tuesday.
Mr Magarief's visit to Bani Walid was the result of pressure from the people of Misurata, Sooq Al Jumaa, Bin Walid and families of other kidnapped persons, who organised a demonstration outside the GNC in Tripoli on September 8.
Omran Shaaban was regarded as a hero. He came to prominence on October 20 last year when he found and captured Gaddafi who was hiding in a sewer tube in Sirte. It was Omran who dragged him out of his hiding place, the drainage pipe.
Omran Shaaban, born in 1992 in city of Misurata, participated in the Misurata front-lines, liberation of Tripoli and liberation of Sirte. The GNC mourned the "loss of a brave hero" and according to a statement issued on the official news agency Lana has said it will take all necessary measures to bring the perpetrators to justice.
While in Tripoli, protesters called for the government to avenge his death, the authorities said Mr Shaaban would be honoured with a funeral fit for a hero.
It was in July this year that Omran was kidnapped. He was ion his way back from a military task with his friend Mohamed Alawiab in one of the roads outside of Bani Walid that leads to city of Misurata, when the car he was in came under fire. Since then family and friends lost contact with him, until a month later when he phoned his family to tell them that he had been detained in Bin Waleed and had been paralysed due torture.
One of the journalists said: “Omran’s faults was that he got rid of the dictator, and instead of receiving a million libyan dinars award, he was kidnapped by the pro- Gaddafi forces at Bani Walid because Mr. Mustafa Abdul Jalil failed to take the decision to liberate the city from the pro-Gaddafi loyalists.
“According to Mr. Abdul Jalil’s promise, whoever killed or arrested Gaddafi was supposed to be awarded a million Dinars. It was Omran who captured Gaddafi who in turn was buried in an unknown place; while Omran was detained in Bani Walid for 57 days, before he was released in a very critical health situation,” Journalist Ridha Issa said on his Facebook page.
Another journalist, Fathi Bin Issa wrote: “We all killed Omran Shaaban!! We all participated in killing him!! With our carelessness!!” .
A member of GNC Mr. Ibrahim Sahd expressed his shock about Omran’s death. “ I have stopped updating my website, I could not write while all this is happening in my country, the pen has dried up, and words have no more meaning. There are no more words that could describe the situation”.
He added: “Today is one of those days in whichI cannot express my feelings. Today we received the news of the death of Omran Shaaban. I was soaked in my sadness and anger. He was a hero, and gave Libya what it was dreaming for 42 years. He gave Libyans what they had been fighting for, sacrificing tens of thousands of martyrs. He was being tortured at a time where we thought that Libya has been liberated and it’s heroes are being honoured not tortured”.
Over 10,000 people gathered to mourn Shabaan's death.