UN alarmed by reports of mass executions in Libya

The United Nations says it is alarmed by reports of mass summary executions and other atrocious human rights violations in Libya.

The violations appear to have mostly been carried out by forces loyal to the Gaddafi government, although there were reports of similar acts by rebel forces, according to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Concern is also mounting on the fate of thousands of people said to be unaccounted for and who were allegedly arrested or taken prisoner by Gaddafi security forces before or immediately after the conflict began.

The High Commissioner is apealing to members of the Gaddafi regime in a position to reveal where the prisoners have been held to do so immediately before more lives are lost.

Rupert Colville is the spokesperson for the UN Human Rights office.

 "Given the gruesome discoveries that have taken place over the past few days, there is good reason to be extremely concerned for their safety. It is of utmost importance that these crimes – as well as other serious violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law – are properly documented and investigated, as the first steps towards accountability and justice for the victims and their families. The Commission of Inquiry for Libya, whose mandate continues until March will undoubtedly examine all such reports. We once again urge both sides to exercise restraint and refrain from committing further human rights violations or acts of retaliation."

The Libyan National Transitional Council (TNC) claims up to 50,000 people have disappeared but the UN Human Rights Office says the numbers have not been independently verified.

Duration 39″

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