TRIPOLI Dec 4 (Reuters) – The man whose arrest in February sparked Libya’s revolution was sworn in as a minister in the new interim government on Sunday but said he had been hesitant about taking on the new job.
Fethi Tarbel, Libya’s new sport and youth minister, wiped away tears after he took he swore a pledge of allegiance to Libya with one hand placed on the Koran, the Muslim holy book.
Standing in front of Prime Minister Abdurrahim El-Keib and National Transitional Council (NTC) chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil, Tarbel was among a small group of ministers who had not taken part in the first inauguration of Libya’s government last month.
The interim government will lead the North African country still reeling from a civil war that toppled dictator Muammar Gaddafi to elections in seven months’ time.
Tarbel, a human rights activist and lawyer who represented families of the Abu Salim prison massacre in 1996, was arrested in Benghazi in February.
His detention sparked a demonstration by families of the victims of the Abu Salim massacre in the eastern town’s Shajara Square on the night of Feb 15-16. They were then dispersed by police, which sparked larger riots on Feb 17 that began Libya’s uprising.