50 000 Gaddafi Prisoners Missing in Libya as War Crime Allegations Mount

World | August 28, 2011, Sunday // 18:01|  views

Libyan men react as they look at charred human remains found in the barraks of the 32nd regiment of the Libyan soldiers loyal to Gaddafi army at the "Khamis" military encampment in southern Tripoli, Libya, 28 August 2011. EPA/BGNES

Some 50 000 people who were imprisoned by the regime of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in the past months are missing, announced a rebel spokesperson amidst growing reports of "mass murder" during the Libyan civil war.

"The number of people arrested over the past months is estimated at between 57,000 and 60,000," Colonel Ahmed Bani, the military spokesperson of Libya's rebel government (Transitional National Council) told a news conference in the eastern city of Benghazi on Sunday, as cited by Al Jazeera.

In his words, more than 10 000 prisoners have been freed from Gaddafi's  jails since the fall of Tripoli but almost 50 000 others are still missing.

"Between 10,000 and 11,000 prisoners have been freed up until now ... so where are the others?" he asked.

Al Jazeera points out that on Saturday, Sky's chief correspondent Stuart Ramsay uncovered evidence of a mass killing, which witnesses said had been carried out days before by pro-Gaddafi forces, and that there are growing calls for an investigation into these war crimes.

Meanwhile, also on Sunday, Human Rights Watch says it has evidence that pro-Gaddafi forces killed at least 17 prisoners and carried out "suspected arbitrary executions of dozens of civilians, including professionals" in the days before Tripoli fell to the rebels.

On Friday, a military representative of the Libyan rebels said Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi's loyalist forces slaughtered more than 150 prisoners in his Bab al-Aziziya compound before it was taken by the rebel forces during this week's Battle for Tripoli

Also on Friday, Amnesty International, a global NGO, announced it had evidence that Gaddafi loyalists had carried out executions of a large number of prisoners at two military camps in the Libyan capital.

As the rebels claim to be uncovering evidence of executions carried out by retreating Gaddafi loaylists, international leaders and NGOs have warned them to refrain from acts of vengeance.

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Tags: Muammar Gaddafi, Libya, Tripoli, prisoners, prisoners of war, rebels, mass murder, execution, war crimes


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