News / Africa

Gadhafi Burial Delayed

Image taken from amateur video posted on a social media website and obtained by Reuters, October 21, 2011, shows former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, covered in blood, after his capture by NTC fighters in Sirte.
Image taken from amateur video posted on a social media website and obtained by Reuters, October 21, 2011, shows former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, covered in blood, after his capture by NTC fighters in Sirte.
Elizabeth Arrott

Libyan officials say they will delay the burial of ex-leader Moammar Gadhafi as they investigate the circumstances of his death Thursday in his hometown Sirte. The United Nations Human Rights Commission is among those calling for a probe. Meanwhile, Libyans lined up at a shopping center on the outskirts of the city Misrata, hoping to get a glimpse of the body of their former leader. His body lay in repose Friday on a mattress in the freezer of an old meat store.  Some of the visitors used their mobile phones to take pictures or video of the dead leader.  Other video from the freezer showed Libyans posing with the body.  Outside, some Libyans shouted "God is great."  One man said Gadhafi's body looked "a little frightening."

Questions of how and by whom Gadhafi was killed intensified Friday, even as many Libyans continued to celebrate that, no matter by what means, the longtime leader was gone and another milestone in their country's transformation had been reached.

Fighters in Misrata chanted that "the blood of the martyrs will not be in vain" while others expressed their relief and joy at the developments in gatherings after Friday prayers.

Watch related Sean Maroney video report

More video emerged that appears to be of the moment Gadhafi was captured alive.  Other images from later in the day show him lying apparently lifeless on the ground, surrounded by angry men.

Officials have given differing accounts of how he died, with the interim prime minister Mahmoud Jibril saying he was shot in the head during crossfire on the way to a hospital.  Others say he died of his initial wounds while on route, while the most widely circulated versions have him kicked and killed by his captors.

U.N. human rights spokesman Rupert Colville said Friday the video evidence is disturbing.  Speaking in Geneva, he added there should be an investigation to see if he was killed in fighting or executed after his capture.

"Summary executions are strictly illegal under any circumstances.  It's different if someone is killed in combat," Colville said. "There was a civil war taking place in Libya, so if the person died as part of the combat, that's a different issue.  That's normally acceptable in the circumstances.  But if something else has happened, someone is captured and then deliberately killed, that's a very serious matter."

What to do with remains

There was also debate about what to do with Gadhafi's remains.  By Islamic custom, he should be buried as quickly as possible, although several officials say that an investigation will have to be carried out before that can happen.  Officials are also said to be undecided on where his grave should be, with some arguing for a secret burial.

The former leader's body was initially taken to a mosque in Misrata.  Authorities say it is now being held there in cold storage until they can decide on the next step.

Gadhafi's son

The body of his son Muatassim Ghadafi, also killed Thursday, was on public display in the same town.

Gadhafi and several members of his family and inner circle were attempting to flee Sirte Thursday when a NATO strike hit the convoy. Gadhafi managed to escape and apparently took refuge in a drain pipe nearby.  

NATO, working under a U.N. mandate, played a key role in helping the new government come to power.  The alliance is now winding down its operations.

Libyan officials say that after the events of Thursday they are ready to declare Libya liberated.    Authorities are expected to announce plans for the next steps in the political process at a news conference Saturday.

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

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

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life 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