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

N. Korea Sentences American to 6 Years Hard Labor

Matthew Miller's brief trial Sunday comes two weeks after 24-year old Miller and two other American detainees appealed to the US government to help free them More

Pakistan Rejects Afghan Criticism of 480-kilometer Border Trench

Military spokesman tells VOA the project is part of administrative and security measures taken to secure the mountainous border with Afghanistan More

Photogallery Typhoon Kalmaegi Makes Landfall in Philippines

Storm makes landfall late Sunday, cutting power and communications lines and forcing people to flee to higher ground 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.
Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interesti
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 12, 2014 8:35 PM
The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video Palestinians Turn to Rebuilding Gaza

After almost two months of conflict in Gaza, Palestinians are preparing to rebuild the isolated Mediterranean enclave with assistance from abroad. Meanwhile, an international human rights group has found that Israel likely violated international laws of war during some of its attacks on Gaza. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Middle Eastern Church Leaders Highlight Christians’ Plight

Patriarchs of Eastern Rite churches came to Washington this week to draw attention to the attacks against Christians in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. VOA’s religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid