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Libya: New Proof of Mass Killings at Gaddafi Death Site
Human Rights Watch
17 October 2012
 
New evidence collected by Human Rights Watch implicates Misrata-based militias in the apparent execution of dozens of detainees following the capture and death of Muammar Gaddafi one year ago. The Libyan authorities have failed to carry out their pledge to investigate the death of Gaddafi, Libya’s former dictator, his son Mutassim, and dozens of others in rebel custody.
 
The 50-page report, “Death of a Dictator: Bloody Vengeance in Sirte,”details the final hours of Muammar Gaddafi’s life and the circumstances under which he was killed. It presents evidence that Misrata-based militias captured and disarmed members of the Gaddafi convoy and, after bringing them under their total control, subjected them to brutal beatings. They then executed at least 66 captured members of the convoy at the nearby Mahari Hotel. The evidence indicates that opposition militias took Gaddafi’s wounded son Mutassim from Sirte to Misrata and killed him there.
 
“The evidence suggests that opposition militias summarily executed at least 66 captured members of Gaddafi’s convoy in Sirte,” said Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director at Human Rights Watch. “It also looks as if they took Mutassim Gaddafi, who had been wounded, to Misrata and killed him there. Our findings call into question the assertion by Libyan authorities that Muammar Gaddafi was killed in crossfire, and not after his capture."
 
Among the most powerful new evidence is a mobile phone video clip filmed by opposition militia members that shows a large group of captured convoy members in detention, being cursed at and abused. (…)
 
A Human Rights Watch research team was nearby when Gaddafi’s convoy engaged in its final battle with opposition forces, on October 20, 2011. Following the battle, the research team visited the site and found more than 100 bodies, most killed in combat. Two days later, the Human Rights Watch research team found the decomposing remains of at least 53 people at the nearby Mahari Hotel, some with their hands still bound behind their backs. (…)
 
To document fully what had occurred on October 20, Human Rights Watch interviewed officers in opposition militias who were at the scene, as well as surviving members of the Gaddafi convoy at the hospital, in custody, and in private homes. Human Rights Watch also reviewed 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. Using Sirte hospital morgue records, Human Rights Watch researchers were able to establish the identities of 17 people last seen alive in custody whose bodies were recovered at the Mahari hotel. (…)
 
In the footage, Muammar Gaddafi is severely beaten by opposition forces and stabbed with a bayonet in his buttocks, causing more injuries and bleeding. By the time he is filmed being loaded into an ambulance half-naked, he appears lifeless. (…)
 
 
 

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