News / Africa

Amnesty International Says War Crimes Conducted in Libya

Bullet casings litter a street in the besieged city of Misrata, Libya, April 23, 2011 (file photo).
Bullet casings litter a street in the besieged city of Misrata, Libya, April 23, 2011 (file photo).

Multimedia

Audio

Libyan forces loyal to leader Moammar Gadhafi may be guilty of war crimes, Amnesty International said Friday. In a new report, the international watchdog described ongoing attacks against the civilian population in Misrata.

Battles have raged through the streets of Misrata for more than two months now and Amnesty says in that time troops loyal to Gadhafi have unleashed a "truly horrifying" string of attacks against civilians.

Hundreds killed

On Friday, the group published a report saying the total disregard for civilian lives is a clear breach of international law.

Donatella Rovera, a senior advisor at Amnesty is in Benghazi, the rebel stronghold in eastern Libya.

From there she told VOA of the bloodshed in Misrata. She says hundreds of people have been killed or injured.  

"The rocket attacks, the artillery attacks, which fall onto civilian neighborhoods, hit civilian houses, and kill civilians - those are weapons that are designed for the battlefield and should not be used in residential areas," said Rovera.

Cluster bombs have also been used, she said.

Residents fleeing

Rovera said many people have fled their homes to safer neighborhoods and are now concentrated in a few areas furthest from the line of fire. But, she said, they are still by no means safe.

Misrata is Libya’s third largest city. It’s located in western Libya, a part of the country that is still mostly under the control of Mr. Gadhafi.

His forces have surrounded the city on three sides and have stepped up attacks on the city’s port, the sole lifeline for international aid and the evacuation of refugees.

Dire situation

Rovera says the city is under siege and the humanitarian situation is dire.

"Obviously there is no electricity or running water or anything by way of working services in the town," she added.

ICC investigation

On Wednesday, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, said he will seek warrants against three Libyans who bear "the greatest criminal responsibility" for crimes against humanity.

He told the United Nations Security Council that he has evidence Libya's government committed war crimes.

Rovera says the violations committed in Libya do constitute war crimes.

"It is very important that the investigation takes place and that it is given the full resources that it needs," Rovera explained.

This week an aid ship ferried over 1,000 people from Misrata to Benghazi. The International Organization for Migration said they had been forced to leave hundreds of people behind and that heavy shelling in the port area means they have no immediate plans to return to Misrata.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid