Health of Gaddafi’s son, detained in Lebanon, deteriorates 3 days after hunger strike

BEIRUT (AP) — The health of a son of late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi had been deteriorating for three days after a hunger strike to protest his detention in Lebanon without trial, his lawyer said on Tuesday.

Hannibal Gaddafi suffered from headaches, muscle aches and difficulty moving, his lawyer Paul Romanos said. He started his hunger strike on Saturday.

He has been detained in Lebanon since 2015 after being briefly abducted to neighboring Syria, where he lived as a political refugee. He was kidnapped by Lebanese activists demanding information on the fate of prominent Lebanese Shia cleric Moussa al-Sadr, who went missing in Libya 45 years ago.

Lebanese police later announced that they had picked up Hannibal from the northeast town of Baalbek, where he was being held. He has been held in a Beirut prison without trial ever since.

Romanos said Gaddafi also suffered from back pain as he was held in a small room where he could not move freely or exercise.

“He is continuing his hunger strike and his health is deteriorating,” Romanos told The Associated Press in a voicemail.

A Lebanese security official who spoke on condition of anonymity said he had no information on Gaddafi’s condition.

Al-Sadr’s disappearance in 1978 has long been a sore point in Lebanon. The cleric’s family believe he may still be alive in a Libyan prison, although most Lebanese assume al-Sadr is dead. He would be 94 years old.

Al-Sadr was the founder of the Amal group, an Arabic word for “hope,” and an acronym for the Arabic name for the militia, the Lebanese Resistance Brigades. The group then fought in the Lebanese civil war from 1975 to 1990. The powerful speaker of the Lebanese Parliament, Nabih Berri, leads the group.

Most al-Sadr supporters believe that Muammar Gaddafi ordered al-Sadr’s death in a dispute over Libyan payments to Lebanese militias. Libya maintained that the cleric and his two traveling companions left Tripoli in 1978 for a flight to Rome and suggested he was the victim of a power struggle between Shiites.

Gaddafi was killed by opposition fighters in 2011, ending his four-decade rule over the North African country.

Hannibal Gaddafi was born two years before al-Sadr died. He fled to Algeria with his mother and several other relatives after his father fell from power. He then ended up in Syria where he was granted political asylum before being kidnapped and taken to Lebanon.

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