Libyan rebels involved in war crimes: AmnestySeptember 14th, 2011 - 4:08 am ICT by IANS
Tripoli, Sep 14 (IANS/AKI) Troops loyal to Muammar Gaddafi and the rebels who successfully fought to oust the Libyan leader both share responsibility for war crimes committed during the uprising, according to human rights group Amnesty International.
A 107-page report titled “The Battle for Libya: Killings, Disappearances and Torture” said that while Gaddafi forces committed widespread crimes under international law, forces loyal to the rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) also committed abuses that in some cases amounted to war crimes.
“The new authorities must make a complete break with the abuses of the past four decades and set new standards by putting human rights at the centre of their agenda,” said Claudio Cordone, senior director at Amnesty International.
“The onus now is on the NTC to do things differently, end abuses and initiate the human rights reforms that are urgently needed,” he said.
The London-based group said it found evidence of what may be “crimes and abuses” committed by Gaddafi’s forces “including indiscriminate attacks, mass killing of prisoners, torture, enforced disappearances, and arbitrary arrests. In most cases it was civilians who bore the brunt of these violations”.
But it also found “a settling of score” committed by rebels led by the NTC when Gaddafi’s military retreated from eastern Libya “including lynchings of Gaddafi soldiers after capture,” the report said.
“The NTC is facing a difficult task of reining in opposition fighters and vigilante groups responsible for serious human rights abuses, including possible war crimes, but has shown unwillingness to hold them accountable,” the report said.
“So far, NTC officials have not provided details of any measures taken to address such concerns,” it added.
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Tags: amnesty international, arbitrary arrests, brunt, cordone, disappearances, eastern libya, human rights abuses, human rights group, indiscriminate attacks, killings, libyan leader, lynchings, muammar gaddafi, national transitional council, onus, opposition fighters, share responsibility, tripoli, vigilante groups, war crimes