Roger writing the LAWmag
Sep 2011

Ayesha Gaddafi: Lawyer and Daughter of You-Know-Who

What a life the 36-year old only daughter of the former President of Libya, Ayesha Gaddafi is having (aka Aisha Muammar Qadhafi, Aeysha Kadhafi or even, mostly in French, Aïcha).

What promise and hope in having a female lawyer, in an unparalleled position to soften her dictator father.

And yet, what promise wasted as instead, she defended and enabled the repression of her fellow Libyans at every opportunity and thus deserves her place in the Law's Hall of Shame.

The Lawyer

Ayesha Gaddafi was born in Tripoli, Libya in 1976 to Muammar al-Gaddafi and his second wife Safia Farkash (her famous father had one child with his first wife and seven with Ms Farkash, who was once his nurse).

In 1986, when Ayesha was 9, her residence was allegedly hit by the bombs of a US air raid. Her adopted sister Hannah, the story goes, was sleeping next to her and was killed (the American bombing run was in retaliation for the bombing, by Libyan agents, of a Berlin nightclub1).

Aeysha GaddafiAt least, that's what Ayesha was wont to tell anyone who would listen.

Shocker: in mid-August, 2011, Hannah was found alive and doing very well as a medical doctor in Tripoli. At the same time, there were official government reports that Ayesha lost her 4-month infant child Mastoura to NATO bombs but is it just more propaganda?

Ms Gaddafi studied law in Paris graduating from the École de droit de la Sorbonne in Paris. There are several references to a doctorate in international law in the media but nothing can be confirmed.2

In 2006, she married her father's cousin, Libyan army officer, Ahmed al-Gaddafi al-Qahsi.

There is already a 92-page book written about her life, Ayesha Muammar Gaddafi: Princess of Peace, by Sami al-Jalouli. The book, likely vanity press, apparently relates Ayesha’s biography in 16 chapters.

Her law career took a high-profile turn when she managed to meet with Saddam Hussein just before Iraq fell in 2003 and, later, he chose her to lead his defence team (she lost: her client was convicted of crimes against humanity and was hung on December 30, 2006). Why Hussein, facing serious crimes, mountains of damning evidence, a hostile court and the death penalty, would entertain the legal opinions of an inexperienced 20-something lawyer who had never seen the inside of a courtroom remains a mystery.

Back in Libya, Ms Gaddafi headed a charity  known as Wa Atassimou which led, in 2009, to her being named a United Nations Development Program National ‎Goodwill Ambassador. Her name was then given as "Dr. Aisha Muammar Al-Gathafi".

Of her father, she proudly said:

"He is a man of principles. He believes in causes, defending the poor and underdog. He never changes the main ideas that he believes in. I would say that now the future of Libya is very promising, bright and optimistic. It is taking its rightful place in the international community and everyone is seeking good ties with us."

Tripoli Ayesha

In February of 2011, political violence erupted after peaceful protests were brutally put down by Gaddafi's police. When there was an outcry from the international community, Ayesha, no dummy, tried to "get out of Dodge", taking the next plane out, hoping to land at Malta. But the international community beat her to it and advised the Maltese government of her flight. She was denied clearance to land and was forced to return home.

It was a bitter if not humiliating homecoming as on the same day, the United Nations withdrew the goodwill appointment citing article 30 of the UN Guidelines for the Designation of Goodwill Ambassadors and Messengers of Peace (which refers to withdrawal where the incumbent "engages in any activity incompatible with his/her status or with the purposes and principles of the United Nations...").

UN Security Council Resolution 1970 soon followed and it was damning. It referred to "the violence and use of force against civilians" in Libya and the "gross and systematic violation of human rights, including the repression of peaceful demonstrators".

Ayesha Gaddafi was named in the resolution:

"... that all Member States shall take the necessary measures to prevent the entry into or transit through their territories, of ... Qadhafi, Aisha Muammar. Date of birth: 1978. Place of birth: Tripoli, Libya. Daughter of Muammar Qadhafi. Closeness of association with regime."

Back in Tripoli, Libyans died in the civil war against the excesses of her father's regime. As early as February 27, 2011, the rebel forces clearly stated their goal: a democratic and free Libya with the rule of law, human rights; to turn the page on Libya's repressive history.

A December, 2009 report by the international Human Rights Watch described the Libya of Ayesha Gaddafi:

  • "Freedom of expression remains severely restricted";
  • "There is no freedom of association in Libya";
  • "An increase in the number of defamation claims brought against journalists";
  • "Libyan prisons still contain hundreds of prisoners, sentenced after unfair trials, for
    expression of their political views";
  • "Libyan security officials have disappeared thousands of individuals over the past three decades"; and
  • "Libya’s various security agencies ... have a great deal of informal political power, and function without accountability or transparency.... Hundreds are detained without any legal basis."3

Those words should have been all the invitation this "lawyer" needed to reach out, to bridge, to put her neck on the line to improve her nation when it needed as never before.

Instead, became her dictator's barking dog, reminiscent of Baghdad Bob who, during the 2003 Iraq War, publicly extolled the imminent victory of the Iraqi Army even as Coalition bombs were exploding around him.

Even in extremis, when there was still time to breakaway and take a stand for law and human rights, in April of 2011 the so-called Princess of Peace gave a surreal interview to the New York Times. In a bomb shelter wearing Gucchi shoes and surrounded by loyal staff, she blamed it all on Barrack Obama and Hilary Clinton and dismissed, wholesale, the legitimate demands of the Libyans on the other side of the civil war, calling them "terrorists ... just fighting for the sake of fighting," as her staffers politely offered the journalist a copy of Princess of Peace. She claimed that only her father stood between a tsunami of illegal African immigration to Europe and the establishment of an Al-Qaedabase on the Mediterranean’s shores!

Aeysha GaddafiStanding in the heart of a Sharia law nation which cherishes polygyny but harshly punishes polyandry, she displayed considerable gall in posing, rhetorically, why Hillary Clinton hadn't left her husband when he admitted to having an affair?

It was masterful stand-up were it not for the blood-stained record of her father's regime; and her, an officer of the law.

Her offer: "Let's mediate this," leaving observers with a difficult choice: to cry or to laugh?

Her last words to what she must of thought was an oddly absent multitude of adoring Libyans:

"I am steadfastly here!"

In early June of 2011, she struck like a lawyer. Legal actions were filed in Brussels naming her as plaintiff and claiming damages from NATO for the death of Mastoura and her brother Seif Al-Arab killed in an April 30, NATO air raid, referring to war crimes and to the deaths as "assassinations" (the legal claims were dismissed a few weeks later). The claims were signed by Luc Brossollet and Dominique Atdjian, both well-known and undoubtedly expensive Paris lawyers.

Those dismissed indictments paled against other legal documents issued at about the same time by the International Criminal Court, indicting her father for crimes against humanity.

On July 26, Ms Gaddafi's husband was allegedly killed while fighting rebel troops.

Finally, an allegedly very pregnant Ayesha managed to run once again from Libya, seeking and receiving asylum at Staoueli, Algeria on August 29, 2011, where, apparently, she gave birth to her fourth child!

Two babies in eight months?

Ayesha Gaddafi managed to make a Google call to a journalist on the same day she allegedly gave birth in Algeria ... just days ago. More Baghdad Bob, not reproduced here for the content but because it shows that this is one nutty lawyer:

"Wherever we are, we are safe and are watching what is happening in Libya. My father, as is known to the world, is as strong as he was before. Without Muammar Gaddafi, Libya will transform into a safe haven of Islamic terrorists and it will ultimately be used as transit of trafficking millions of people to West. This is the beginning of creation of huge base of Islamic terrorists in the West and the Mediterranean.

"President Obama wanted this to happen before he was ousted from the White House. He has accomplished his mission."

An Empty Legacy

This young, very rich and until recently, influential Muslim woman is now in hiding, running like a rat as her father and two brothers have been indicted for murder and crimes against humanity, and for whom arrest warrants are, as of September 8, 2011, outstanding.

The Gaddafi family has squirrelled away money for decades and in places not readily accessible to the asset freeze orders of most free and democratic nations.

Can you spell Switzerland ... Africa?

Back in Libya, summary executions, arbitrary arrests and mass graves are being discovered by the new government.

Ayesha used her law degree to improve upon little, except her own interests, and to validate, support and defend her father's regime, the full detail of those crimes soon to be known to the world.


Thanks to Sam Benson for pointing out a typo on this article.

Posted in International Law

Attached Images

  • Ayesha Gaddafi: Lawyer and Daughter of You-Know-Who