News / Africa

Human Rights Watch Cautions Against Civilian Casualties in Libya

An explosion is seen near Muammar Gadhafi's main compound in the Bab al-Aziziya district in Tripoli, Libya, Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011
An explosion is seen near Muammar Gadhafi's main compound in the Bab al-Aziziya district in Tripoli, Libya, Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011

Multimedia

Audio
  • Clottey interview with Fred Abrahams, special adviser for Human Rights Watch

Peter Clottey

The U.S.-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) is expressing concern about unarmed Libyans caught in the conflict between rebels and supporters of Moammar Gadhafi.

Fred Abrahams, special adviser for the group, said the rebels, NATO and Gadhafi loyalists should do their utmost to protect the public.

“All sides… should take the utmost care to make sure that civilians are not targeted… to distinguish between combatants and civilians and try to minimize the impact of the fighting,” said Abraham.

Preventing retribution

Abrahams warns in particular against attacks against Gadhaffi loyalists.

“The danger of revenge is very real because you have four decades of dictatorship with many serious abuses; torture of political prisoners [and] missing persons. And now, [there’s been] six months of conflict in which many people lost their lives,” said Abraham.”  So, some individuals on the rebel side are likely to take revenge against people who fought for Gadhafi or who they suspect of supporting Gadhafi.”

Abraham urged the rebel-lead Transitional National Council to prevent any acts of vengeance.

“The opposition authority has the responsibility here to do everything possible to stop this revenge because they started this uprising to have a Libya that has more respect for human rights… to turn away from torture and that’s why it’s important to set the tone from the very beginning,” said Abraham.

He also called on the opposition to protect civilians and government institutions including police stations and the courts.

ICC warrants

In June, The Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) issued arrest warrants for Moammar Gadhafi, his son, Saif al-Islam and intelligence chief Abdullah al-Sanussi, after accusing them of committing crimes against humanity. But critics say the ICC has failed to indict rebels who allegedly committed similar acts of violence.

Abrahams called on the ICC to begin what he describes as a thorough probe on both sides of the conflict and to punish the perpetrators.

“We call for an open investigation so the evidence leads you wherever it may and prosecution should ensue, if the court determines that any one on the opposition side has violated the law to that extent,” said Abraham.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid