|"HRW accuses Misrata-based militias of capturing, brutalising and killing members of Gaddafi's convoy." (EPA)|
AlJazeera.com, October 17, 2012
"New evidence implicates Libyan militias in an apparent execution of dozens of detainees in rebel custody following the capture and death of Muammar Gaddafi last year, a watchdog has said. In a report released on Wednesday detailing Gaddafi's final hours on October 20, 2011, Human Rights Watch said it had gathered evidence that Misrata-based militias captured and disarmed members of the dictator's convoy and subjected them to brutal beatings. 'The evidence suggests that opposition militias summarily executed at least 66 captured members of Gaddafi's convoy in Sirte,' his home town, Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director at Human Rights Watch (HRW), said on Wednesday. 'It also looks as if they took Mutassim Gaddafi, who had been wounded, to [the port city of] Misrata and killed him there,' he said of Gaddafi's son. 'Our findings call into question the assertion by Libyan authorities that Muammar Gaddafi was killed in crossfire, and not after his capture,' Bouckaert said of a Human Rights Watch report documenting the executions. The 50-page report, 'Death of a Dictator: Bloody Vengeance in Sirte,' also details the final hours of Gaddafi's life and the circumstances under which he was killed on the basis of witness testimony and mobile phone footage. HRW said its evidence suggested that Misrata-based militias captured and disarmed members of Gaddafi's convoy and, after bringing them under control, subjected them to brutal beatings. 'They then executed at least 66 captured members of the convoy at the nearby Mahari Hotel,' said the report, adding that some still had their hands bound behind their backs.
HRW said it collected mobile phone video clips taken by anti-Gaddafi fighters that showed a large group of captured convoy members being cursed and abused. The watchdog added that it used hospital morgue photos 'to establish that at least 17 of the detainees visible in the phone video were later executed at the Mahari Hotel.' To document what happened on October 20, 2011, HRW said it had interviewed officers in opposition militias who were at the scene and surviving members of the Gaddafi convoy in hospital, in custody or at home. 'These killings constitute the largest documented execution of detainees by anti-Gaddafi forces during the eight-month conflict in Libya,' the report said. [...]"