Friday, October 19, 2012

Libya: New evidence shows Gaddafi, Mutassim were murdered by Misrata militias

A man holds a picture of the slained former Libya strong man Muarmar Gadaffi in Tripoli soon after his death.
Human Rights Watch in new evidence has blamed Misrata based militias for war crime for murder of former Libya dictator Muammar Gaddafi, his son Mutassim and 66 other Libyans on October 20 last year.

The evident is set to put into question the Libyan government official account that the two as well as all others who perished at the scene, died during fierce crossfire.

In a 50 page report titled Death of a Dictator: Bloody Vengeance in Sirte the human rights watchdog interviewed families of victims, survivors of the Gaddafi’s convoy and officers in opposition militias who were at the scene.

The report also reviews ‘a large number of video recordings made by opposition forces on their cell phones, some of which show captured detainees at the site of the final battle.”

“Video footage shows that Muammar Gaddafi was captured alive but bleeding heavily from a head wound, believed to have been caused by shrapnel from a grenade thrown by his own guards that exploded in their midst,” HRW says in an online website statement.

The evidence discredits the Libyan government’s and militias claim that Gaddafi and his son died in a cross. It also discredits the widely circulated You Tube video of the former dictator half naked and lifeless body being loaded in ambulance.

“In the (new evidence) footage of Muammar Gaddafi (he) is severely beaten by opposition forces and stabbed with a bayonet in his buttocks, causing more injuries and bleeding,” HRW says in evidence of torture of former Libyan leader before his death.

The evidence also confirms that Mutassim Gaddafi was also captured alive at the scene of the battle and his film in Misrata as he smokes cigarettes and drinks water while engaging in argument with militias was different from his body which was alter paraded on streets with a throat wound showing sign of torture.

“Our strongest evidence for these executions comes from the footage filmed by the opposition forces, and the physical evidence at the Mahari Hotel, where the 66 bodies were found,” said Peter Bouckaert, Emergencies Director at HRW says.

HRW say that immediately after the killing they reported the matter to National Transition Council (NTC) for full investigation and accountability has been dragging its feet to start an inquiry.

“Libya’s challenge to bring armed militias like Misrata militias under control and end their abuses is by investigation the mass executions of October 20, 2011,” Bouckaert says.

HRW now calls International Criminal Court (ICC) which investigates and prosecutes war crimes committed by all sides in Libya after February 15, 2011 to come in if the Libyan authorities are not able or willing to investigate or prosecute.

© Manuel Odeny, 2012

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