Government and rebel forces committed war crimes during Libya’s uprising

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Libyans celebrate

Hundreds of prisoners were executed and tortured to death by forces loyal to former Libyan President Muammar Qadhafi.

The International Commission of Inquiry on Libya says the killings amount to war crimes.

Presenting the findings of the commission to the UN Human Rights Council, Judge Philippe Kirsch, chair of the commission, said there was widespread use of torture, detention and other forms of ill treatment on individuals or groups perceived to be opposition supporters.

The commission cites the murder, torture and cruel treatment of the residents of Tawergha town by rebel forces as constituting a war crime.

He said the Interim government must restore the rule of law, establish an independent judiciary and ensure accountability for crimes committed.

"While the commission made specific efforts to determine the circumstances of the deaths of Muammar and Mutassin Qadhafi and succeeded in establishing many of the facts regarding their apprehension, it was unable to reach conclusions in relation to how they were killed and recommends further investigations. The commission's recommendations are primarily addressed at the interim Government. They aim at ensuring that those responsible for violations are held accountable, in particular by strengthening Libya's institutions and legislation mechanisms and insisting on the equal application of the law to hold all those that may have committed violations responsible."

Judge Kirsch said the commission had submitted to the UN Human Rights Office a list of individuals believed to bear the greatest responsibility for the atrocities committed during the Libyan uprising for possible future investigations into crimes against humanity.

Duration 45"

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January 2018
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