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

    Rolling Thunder Tribute to US Military Turns into a Trump Rally

    Half-million motorcycles are expected to rumble Sunday afternoon from Pentagon to Vietnam War Memorial for rally in event group calls Ride for Freedom

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    Video Canine Reading Buddies Help Students With Literacy

    Idea behind reading program is that sharing book with nonjudgmental companion boosts students' confidence and helps instill love of reading

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora