News / Africa

UN Accuses Libyan Forces of War Crimes

Rebel fighters fire a heavy machine gun toward forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi at Misrata's western front line, some 25 kilometres (16 miles) from the city center, June 1, 2011
Rebel fighters fire a heavy machine gun toward forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi at Misrata's western front line, some 25 kilometres (16 miles) from the city center, June 1, 2011
TEXT SIZE - +

Special United Nations investigators accuse government forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity - charges that Libya denies.  Members of an international Commission of Inquiry set up to investigate human rights violations in the midst of the ongoing war say they, too, have evidence of war crimes committed by opposition forces.  The commission has submitted its report to the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The chair of the Commission of Inquiry, Cherif Bassiouni, does not mince his words as he presents the conclusions of the fact-finding mission to the U.N. Human Rights Council.  

“There have been many serious violations of international humanitarian law committed by government forces and their supporters amounting to war crimes. They include attacks on civilians and civilian objects and targets, attacks on humanitarian-related personnel, attacks on medical units and transports using the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions,”  Bassiouni said.

The 92-page report also lists a large number of violations committed by government forces, which it says amounts to crimes against humanity.  These include murder, torture, enforced disappearance and sexual abuse as part of a widespread or systematic attack against a civilian population.

Addressing the U.N. council, the head of the Libyan delegation, Mustafa Shaban, denied the charges, saying it was instead rebels and NATO forces that committed abuses.

Bassiouni says the commission did not find evidence that the opposition armed forces were part of any widespread or systematic attack against a civilian population.  

“However, in certain reports that indicates that these forces connected with the opposition did commit certain international crimes, such as killings, tortures, cruel treatment and some outrages upon personal dignity, in particular against persons in detention, migrant workers, and those believed to be mercenaries,” Bassiouni said.  

During its mission to Libya, the commission met with 350 people across the country, including government and opposition officials, civil society, displaced people, medical staff and a few detainees.  It also looked at thousands of pages of documents, photos and videos.

The investigators say they have received estimates that 10,000 to 15,000 people have been killed since the war broke out in February.  But it says it cannot confirm this number.

During a news conference following the presentation of the report, Bassiouni told journalists he was not surprised by the findings.  He says the violations being committed by Mr. Gadhafi’s government today are the same as those that have been going on for the past 42 years.

He blames the international community for letting the Libyan leader literally get away with murder for all these years.

Bassiouni says the commission needs more time to carry out a full investigation and hopes the U.N. Human Rights Council will adopt a proposed resolution to extend the work of the commission for another year.

You May Like

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest 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.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid