Rights group demands safe return of abducted Libyan lawmaker

Human Rights Watch urges Libya's eastern government to help ensure return of abducted female lawmaker

CAIRO -- Human Rights Watch is urging authorities in eastern Libya to exert "all possible efforts" to ensure the safe return of a female lawmaker abducted from her home last month by armed men.

The lawmaker, Seham Sergewa, is a prominent critic of Khalifa Hifter, whose forces are now fighting to take the capital from the U.N.-backed government in Tripoli.

The New York-based watchdog said Friday that Sergewa's abduction "follows a well-documented pattern of violence, reprisal, and intimidation" by Hifter's self-styled Libyan National Army.

Sergewa's family and friends allege she was taken from her house in Benghazi by militiamen affiliated with Hifter's forces. Her husband was wounded during the attack.

Libya slid into chaos after the 2011 uprising and is now split between rival authorities in the country's east and west.