What will happen the body of deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is still uncertain, as the country’s interim government tries to map out the path to democracy.
Chairman of the transitional government Mahmoud Jibril says the first elections could take place in eight months’ time.
More immediately, whether to or not hand Gaddafi’s body over to his family and tribe in Sirte, as requested by his wife, is provoking strong reactions.
Hamida Al-Maktuf in Tripoli wanted the former leader to suffer, even in death:“May Gaddafi be buried in hell. He and his family should be buried in hell if it’s God’s will,” she shouted angrily.
Souad Hamza, a teacher in Tripoli, said she did not think his wife’s wishes should be granted: “I don’t want to put it where the family want it. Just put it anywhere,” she said.
It has been decided by the military council in Misrata, where the body is still being kept, that no autopsy will be performed on Gaddafi.
However, some have been shocked by the stream of people queueing to take pictures of Gaddafi, like one journalist who asked Jibril about the treatment of the body: “I’m sure you have seen the images of the body and the way that people celebrated their victory around the body. That, from a westerner’s point of view, felt very un-Islamic. Did you have a view on that?”
Jibril felt it was an understandable reaction from the people: “Well, I appreciate what you are saying but you have to appreciate the agony that people went through for 42 years,” he answered.
According to Islamic custom, Gaddafi should already have been buried. However, there may still be an investigation into how he was killed and who by – possibly delaying the funeral and a decision on his final resting place.