- Libya - oil - OPEC - Switzerland
OPEC member Libya is halting oil shipments to Switzerland in protest at the arrest of a son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, workers of state-owned Maritime Transport National Corporation said on Thursday.
All ships carrying Swiss-made goods are barred from unloading their cargoes at Libyan ports, they added in a statement issued shortly after they staged a protest outside the Swiss embassy in Tripoli.
The ban on oil shipments includes both crude oil and refined petroleum products. The protesters also threatened unspecified further action against Swiss authorities if they did not apologise "in the next coming hours" for the arrest in Geneva on July 15 of Hannibal Gaddafi.
Gaddafi was released on bail after he and his wife were charged with ill-treatment of two domestic employees. Gaddafi denied the charges, his lawyer has said.
Gaddafi was arrested in a luxury hotel after staff alerted police to repeated arguments in their suite. He spent two nights in jail while his wife Aline, who is nine months pregnant, was taken to hospital feeling unwell.
The Revolutionary Committees Movement, a group of Gaddafi followers who help to manage the Libyan leader's Jamahiriyah or state of the masses political system, have said Libya should withdraw deposits in Swiss banks if the Swiss government fails to apologise for the arrest of Hannibal Gaddafi.
In Berne, the Swiss foreign ministry said on Wednesday it had sent a delegation to the north African oil-exporting country with information about the arrest of Hannibal Gaddafi "to prevent a crisis between the two countries."