Facebook icon
Twitter icon
e-mail icon

Amnesty: detained Gaddafi forces subject to abuse

Amnesty International has stated that upto 2500 Gaddaffi forces being detained by Libya's National Transitional Council are beign subjected to beating, torture and abuse.

In a report released on Thursday, Amnesty alleges that whipping and screaming could be heard from detention centres and those prisoners who have subsequently been interviewed by the human rights group have confirmed such reports.

Amnesty's deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa, Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, said,

"There is a real risk that without firm and immediate action, some patterns of the past might be repeated. Arbitrary arrest and torture were a hallmark of Colonel [Muammar] Gaddafi's rule.

"We understand that the transitional authorities are facing many challenges, but if they do not make a clear break with the past now, they will effectively be sending out a message that treating detainees like this is to be tolerated in the new Libya."

Sahraoui added that the crimes are frequently perpetrated by 'armed militias who often act on their own initiative'.

"The NTC has to act urgently to translate their public commitments into action, before such abuses become entrenched and stain the new Libya's human rights record,"

"These detainees have in most cases been arrested without a warrant, beaten - and sometimes worse - on arrest and arrival in detention. They are vulnerable to abuse by armed militias who often act on their own initiative.
"The authorities cannot simply allow this to carry on because they are in a 'transitional' phase. These people must be allowed to defend themselves properly or be released."

 Responding to the allegations, the NTC have pledged to carry out an investigation.

A spokesman for the NTC, Jalal al-Galal,

"[NTC Chairman] Mustafa Abdel Jalil has said time and time again that he will not tolerate abuse of prisoners and has made it abundantly clear that he will investigate any such allegations."

We need your support

Sri Lanka is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist. Tamil journalists are particularly at threat, with at least 41 media workers known to have been killed by the Sri Lankan state or its paramilitaries during and after the armed conflict.

Despite the risks, our team on the ground remain committed to providing detailed and accurate reporting of developments in the Tamil homeland, across the island and around the world, as well as providing expert analysis and insight from the Tamil point of view

We need your support in keeping our journalism going. Support our work today.

For more ways to donate visit https://donate.tamilguardian.com.