News / Middle East

Libya Rebel Leader Appeals Against Reprisals as Massacre Sites Found

Mahmoud Jibril, leader of the Transitional Council (file)
Mahmoud Jibril, leader of the Transitional Council (file)
James Brooke

A rebel leader is asking Libyans not to take revenge as worry mounts over massacre sites.  

One week ago, the metal warehouse was a makeshift prison for enemies of Colonel Moammar Gadhafi now it is a death house containing about 50 scorched skeletons.  Outside, another eight bodies lie on the grass, one with his hands tied behind his back.

This horror scene is in a compound, which was controlled until Tuesday by the Khamis brigade, an elite neighborhood controlled by Colonel Gadhafi’s son, Khamis.  A survivor said that, as rebel forces approached, the Gadhafi soldiers shot their prisoners, and then tried to burn the bodies.

Almost daily, other massacre sites are appearing around Tripoli.

On Sunday, Mahmoud Jibril, leader of the Transitional Council, went on Libyan national television to ask Libyans not to take revenge. He said, "Don't seek revenge, or attack private properties, or hurt foreigners, or treat prisoners of war badly.”  He promised every prisoner would receive a fair trial.

Libya analyst Peter Cole says this anti-reprisal policy is a cornerstone of the Transition Council, which now controls about 90 percent of Libya’s population.

“They have been stressing this idea of, ‘Do not go out, do not kill, do not try to seek retribution for someone who might have informed on your family, someone who you might think is pro-Gadhafi, do not take matters into your own hands," he said.  "Let us do this.”

But this tolerance is being tested as Libya’s newly unfettered media reports on atrocities linked to Gadhafi forces.

On Sunday, the advocacy group Human Rights Watch said it had documented two additional mass executions.  In these cases, a total of 35 bodies were found in or around a Libyan internal security building.

Human Rights Watch Regional Director Sarah Leah Whitson says evidence strongly suggests Gadhafi government forces went on a campaign of arbitrary killing as Tripoli was falling.

For Cole, this may not shake widespread support for the no-reprisal policy.

“For the rebels at least, it is no surprise to them that [Gadhafi] security police would do some quite nasty stuff,” he said.

Cole predicted the massacre reports would not make for a ‘game changing’ psychological shift.

But a new test looms.  Hundreds, possibly thousands of Gadhafi’s political prisoners, may be missing.

Transitional Council spokesman Shams al-Din Ben Ali told Al-Jazeera television that of 57,000 people arrested in recent months by Gadhafi forces, 45,000 have not been accounted for.

He feared that many prisoners may have been abandoned days ago without food or water in underground prisons hidden around Tripoli.  He appealed to prison guards to telephone authorities and to tell them where to find the secret prisons.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More