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Libya: Both sides of conflict accused of human rights violations

last updated Aug 29, 2011

While rebel forces have taken over the control over most of Libya, the human rights group Amnesty International (AI) has accused both sides of the conflict of torture and human rights violations. AI gathered evidence that both forces loyal to Muammar al-Gaddafi and the rebel forces have committed crimes that could amount to war crimes.

Celebrating rebel forces in Libya
Celebrating rebel forces in Libya; Source: Flickr (B.R.Q.)

The allegations include overcrowded prisons, beatings and other physical abuse on the side of the rebels; troops loyal to Gaddafi are accused of rape, enforced disappearances, torture and the coordinated killing of detainees. AI urged both sides to protect detainees from torture.

On Thursday, rebels found a hospital in Tripoli containing more than 200 decomposing bodies. It is believed that the injured people were left behind after doctors and nurses fled due to the eruption of fighting. 17 people survived and were taken away from the hospital for treatment by the Red Cross. Pro-Gaddafi forces and snipers allegedly occupied the hospital until rebel forces secured the building and found the cruel scene.

The fighting in the Libyan capital Tripoli has died down and people are slowly showing signs of joy and hope. However, it remains unclear how the political situation will evolve with conflicts of interest among the rebel forces and the numerous tribes very likely to impede stability in the near future.

AI: Both sides in Libya conflict must protect detainees from torture

BBC News: Libya: Hundreds of bodies found at Tripoli hospital

Reuters: Gaddafi forces killed prisoners, says Amnesty

Libyan Arab Jamahiriya country profile