50,000 feared dead in mass executions under Gadhafi


Evidence of war crimes by Gadhafi regime mounts, human rights groups say

Up to 50,000 people imprisoned by the Gadhafi regime are missing, it has emerged, as evidence mounts of war crimes committed by the former leader's retreating soldiers.

Rebel leaders estimated that 60,000 opponents of the dictator had been jailed since the insurgency began in February, but with most of Libya now in rebel hands, only 11,000 have been freed.

Former Ottawa resident, Abdulhamid Darrat was taken captive by pro-Gadhafi forces in May. Darrat, who operated one of Libya's largest private Internet companies was accused of allowing the rebels to access the Internet through his servers.

While his family was led to believe that Darrat was taken to help the government, his daughter Khadija said a family friend and co-worker who was also taken captive told the family he was brutally beaten and killed only a few days after he was taken prisoner. His body was uncovered earlier this week along with 150 in a warehouse in Tripoli.

"They did stuff to him that no human being would do," said Khadija, 16. "Nobody would even have done that to an animal."

Mass executions of opposition forces are being uncovered on a daily basis, and human rights groups fear the total number of prisoners murdered by the retreating loyalists, already in the scores, could escalate sharply.

During the weekend, the charred remains of at least 53 people were found in a warehouse where they appeared to have been executed by the Khamis Brigade, Libya's most feared military unit.

A further 18 bodies were discovered decomposing in a nearby ditch by a Daily Telegraph reporter on Sunday.

Col. Ahmed Omar Bani, a rebel military leader, said: "The number of people arrested over the past months is estimated at between 57,000 and 60,000.

"Between 10,000 and 11,000 prisoners have been freed up until now ... so where are the others?"

One theory is that the prisoners are being held in underground bunkers that have not yet been discovered. Col Bani said it would be "catastrophic" if they had been killed.

Many of those who were imprisoned were rebel fighters, but thousands more were civilians suspected of supporting the revolution who were rounded up in a series of security crackdowns.

Human Rights Watch said it had gathered evidence that pro-Gadhafi forces had carried out "arbitrary executions of dozens of civilians" before Tripoli fell to the rebels.

One man who said three of his sons were among those executed in the Khamis Brigade warehouse told the BBC that up to 150 civilians were packed into the building, guarded by mercenaries. "They promised them water at sunset but came with guns instead," he said. "They started shooting, then they threw in hand grenades, three of them."

Eyewitness accounts of loyalists opening fire on prisoners is likely to be presented to the International Criminal Court if members of the Gadhafi family are captured.

Meanwhile, Moussa Ibrahim, Col Gadhafi's spokesman, said the fugitive dictator was willing to take part in negotiations for the formation of a transitional government.

The offer was dismissed as "delusional" by William Hague, Britain's Foreign Secretary, while Libya's National Transitional Council dismissed the suggestion of talks as "a daydream of what remains of the dictatorship".

Mahmoud Shammam, the NTC's information minister, said: "I would like to state very clearly, we don't recognize them. We are looking at them as criminals."

The whereabouts of Col Gadhafi and his family was still unknown, though Libya is filled with rumours that they have fled to Zimbabwe, Algeria or even Europe.

The coastal town of Bin Jawwad, around 60 miles east of Sirte, was the latest to fall to the opposition on Sunday.

Rebels were massing on the outskirts of Sirte, Gadhafi's hometown and his main remaining stronghold, to begin a ground assault following a weekend of NATO airstrikes.

One of the biggest problems facing the interim government is a shortage of food, water and electricity supplies in Tripoli.

Usama el-Abed, the deputy leader of the new city council, said that between 60 and 70 per cent of the capital's residents do not have enough water, but he added that the shortages are due to technical problems, which he hopes will soon be fixed, not sabotage by loyalist forces.

The United Nations is preparing to ship in baby food, bottled water and medicine, while World Health Organization officials are on Malta to arrange aid shipments that should arrive in Libya later this week.

There were signs of normality beginning to return to the streets of Tripoli, with traffic policemen in their distinctive white uniforms returning to duty.

One of the officers, Abu Bakr al-Murbet, said: "Today is the first day that we started working. Things are under control and running smoothly."

The rebel-controlled Agoco oil company said it would restart production at its Sarir and Mesla fields in a fortnight.

Former Ottawa-resident Nader Benrewin was also killed in Libya earlier this month while fighting for the rebel forces in Tripoli.

The Daily Telegraph, with files from alex weber, the ottawa citizen

Source: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/f...nder+Gadhafi/5322132/story.html#ixzz1WSE4Oj5B

Mullah Omar

Minister (2k+ posts)
I'm not a fan of Qaddafi but I don't trust what rebels say and this 50,000 number is probably overblown. Both sides have commited atrocities in this war.


Minister (2k+ posts)
Arabs k saath tou jo hoo woh kam hai ... ya woh logh hain jinhon ney quran apni peeth k pecha phank deya aur yahan wahan aab khair talash ker rahe hain ... lakin 2 haftey ki arab Israel he in ki asliyaat hai ... hamla saddam karey aur aa k inko defend USA karey ... lannat hai ... haad hoti hai koe Aiyaashi aur taan aasani ki .


Chief Minister (5k+ posts)
The news will keep on flowing slowly. This is all to justify whatever NATO did in Libya. Similar to what Saddam supposedly did.
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