Libya: Apparent Execution of 53 Gaddafi Supporters

Bodies Found at Sirte Hotel Used by Anti-Gaddafi Fighters

By Human Rights Watch

October 24, 2011 — ” HRW” – (Sirte) – Fifty-three people, apparent Gaddafi supporters, seem to have been executed at a hotel in Sirte last week, Human Rights Watch said today. The hotel is in an area of the city that was under the control of anti-Gaddafi fighters from Misrata before the killings took place.

Human Rights Watch called on Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC) to conduct an immediate and transparent investigation into the apparent mass execution and to bring those responsible to justice.

“We found 53 decomposing bodies, apparently Gaddafi supporters, at an abandoned hotel in Sirte, and some had their hands bound behind their backs when they were shot,” said Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director at Human Rights Watch, who investigated the killings. “This requires the immediate attention of the Libyan authorities to investigate what happened and hold accountable those responsible.”

(Bodies of persons lie in the garden of the Mahari Hotel in Sirte, immediately after they were put into body bags by local residents. At the time of their killing the hotel was apparently controlled by anti-Gaddafi fighters from Misrata. 53 persons were apparently executed at the site.


© 2011 Peter Bouckaert/Human Rights Watch)

Human Rights Watch saw the badly decomposed remains of the53 people on October 23, 2011, at the Hotel Mahari in District 2 of Sirte. The bodies were clustered together, apparently where they had been killed, on the grass in the sea-view garden of the hotel.

Anti-Gaddafi fighters from Misrata had held that area of Sirte since early October, according to witnesses interviewed by Human Rights Watch. On the entrance and walls of the hotel Human Rights Watch saw the names of several brigades from Misrata.

The condition of the bodies suggests the victims were killed approximately one week prior to their discovery, between October 14 and October 19, Human Rights Watch said. The bloodstains on the grass directly below the bodies, bullet holes visible in the ground, and the spent cartridges of AK-47 and FN-1 rifles scattered around the site strongly suggest that some, if not all of the people, were shot and killed in the location where they were discovered, Human Rights Watch said.

All the bodies were in a similar stage of decomposition, suggesting they were killed at the same approximate time. Some of the bodies had their hands tied behind their backs with plastic ties. Others had bandages over serious wounds, suggesting they had been treated for other injuries prior to their deaths.

About 20 Sirte residents were putting the bodies in body bags and preparing them for burial when Human Rights Watch arrived at the hotel. They said they had discovered the bodies on October 21, after the fighting in Sirte had stopped and they returned to their neighborhood. They identified four of the dead as residents of Sirte: Ezzidin al-Hinsheri, allegedly a former Gaddafi government official, a military officer named Muftah Dabroun, and two Sirte residents, Amar Mahmoud Saleh and Muftah al-Deley.

Those preparing the bodies said they believed most of the victims were residents of Sirte, some of them Gaddafi supporters. They said that some of the victims had most likely tried to flee from District 2, the last stronghold of Gaddafi loyalists as anti-Gaddafi forces attacked the city. Other victims were possibly released from Ibn Sina Hospital in Sirte, they said, after being treated for conflict-related injuries. The claim that some of the victims had been released from the hospital is consistent with the discovery of bandaged wounds on some of the bodies, Human Rights Watch said.

The Hotel Mahari was apparently in the hands of anti-Gaddafi forces from Misrata before the killings, and it remained in their control until the fighting in Sirte stopped on October 20, Human Rights Watch said.

Anti-Gaddafi forces are organized in brigades whose primary loyalty is to their city of origin. Many Libyan cities have numerous brigades, small groups of fighters who operate semi-independently during battles. More than 100 brigades (katiba) operate in the city of Misrata alone.

On the walls of the Hotel Mahari, Human Rights Watch saw the names of five known Misrata-based fighting groups, who had apparently based themselves in the hotel. At the entrance, as well as on the inside and outside walls, was prominently written the “Tiger Brigade” (Al-Nimer). In numerous places on other walls were written the “Support Brigade” (Al-Isnad), the Jaguar Brigade (Al-Fahad), the Lion Brigade (Al-Asad), and the Citadel Brigade (Al-Qasba).

There is no direct evidence that these five brigades were involved in the executions, but their apparent presence in the hotel requires immediate investigation, Human Rights Watch said.

“The evidence suggests that some of the victims were shot while being held as prisoners, when that part of Sirte was controlled by anti-Gaddafi brigades who appear to act outside the control of the National Transitional Council,” Bouckaert said. “If the NTC fails to investigate this crime it will signal that those who fought against Gaddafi can do anything without fear of prosecution.”

At a separate site in Sirte, Human Rights Watch saw the badly decomposed bodies of 10 people who had apparently also been executed. The bodies had been dumped in a water reservoir in District 2 of the city. The identity of the victims was unknown, and it was not possible to establish whether Gaddafi forces or anti-Gaddafi fighters were responsible. From the state of decomposition of the bodies, it appears they were killed prior to October 12.

Medical officials in Sirte told Human Rights Watch that pro-Gaddafi forces had carried out executions in the city. They said that medical teams and anti-Gaddafi fighters found at least 23 bodies, their hands bound, between October 15 and October 20.

The executions at the Mahari Hotel came to light just days after the still unexplained deaths of Libya’s former leader Muammar Gaddafi and his son Muatassim Gaddafi while in the custody of fighters from Misrata. Both men were captured alive in Sirte on October 20.

At the site where Muammar Gaddafi was captured, Human Rights Watch found the remains of at least 95 people who had apparently died that day. The vast majority had apparently died in the fighting and NATO strikes prior to Gaddafi’s capture, but between six and ten of the dead appear to have been executed at the site with gunshot wounds to the head and body.

To date, the NTC has failed to conduct a serious investigation into the killing of the former rebel military commander, Gen. Abdel Fattah Younes, who was killed with two aides on July 28 after being detained by opposition fighters, apparently after NTC officials had issued a warrant for his arrest.

Violence of any kind, and in particular murder, inflicted during an armed conflict on combatants who have laid down their arms or are in detention, is a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The ICC has jurisdiction in Libya for all crimes within its mandate committed since February 15, 2011. Under the court’s treaty, criminal liability applies to both those who physically commit the crimes and to senior officials, including those who give the orders and those in a position of command who should have been aware of the abuses but failed to prevent them or to report or prosecute those responsible.

“This latest massacre seems part of a trend of killings, looting, and other abuses committed by armed anti-Gaddafi fighters who consider themselves above the law,” Bouckaert said. “It is imperative that the transitional authorities take action to rein in these groups.”                    NOTE:THIS IS A CROSS POST FROM INFORMATION CLEARING HOUSE:








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  • Mohammad Chaudhry  On October 26, 2011 at 3:17 am

    Just imagine the conduct of these so-called Muslims who had the practical precedent of Hazart Ali who didn’t kill as per tradition then, the most powerful jew wrestler who spit on his(Ali’s) face after being overpowered, as Ali thought,it would become out of his anger while his fight was in the name of God, ?
    I just read ,” Bloody Crimes”, history of civil war of America inwhich 620,000 Americans were killed during four years 1861-65. After the confederate president ,Jafferson Davis ,considered responsible for this unprecedented killing, was captured with family and close team-mates,he alone was taken prisoner with due honour and imprisoned for two years during which his family was allowed to visit and stay with him, though USA President A.Lincoln was killed by Booth,Jafferson’s loyalist. Jafferson lived 25 years as respected American citizen and then burried in Richmond,his one time capitol, with the same honour,rather more as Lincoln.This is how USA has stayedf as a federation of 50 states. More than enough food for thought for Muslim scholars and leaders,claiming to have the best religion but no good history or precedents.

    • Yasmeen Ali  On October 26, 2011 at 3:32 am

      With due apologies, I will not agree with your conclusion. If one individual has done wrong,why drag his/her religion into it? Why blacken ALL muslims because he/they were Muslims.
      In this case all Sikhs are barbarians.
      Remember the trains full of dead bodies coming to Pakistan in 1947?
      Are you aware of WHERE the mass graves are?

  • Assad Siddiqui  On October 26, 2011 at 3:49 am

    May i suggest to Human Rights Watch to call on USA,Britain,France and all those involved in this uncalled for war in Libya to conduct an immediate & transparent investigation into the apparent mass brutal execution through NATO and to bring those responsible to justice.

    Also this exercise must be conducted in respect of the uncalled for wars in Iraq,Afghanistan,Vietnam to name a few. Those still alive should be brought to justice.


  • Nasir  On October 26, 2011 at 5:06 am

    There never ever was and even today there is NO ‘Arab Nation’…remember
    Nasser trying to form an ‘Arab League’ …and we all know what happened to that

    Lets not blame the ‘West’ for all our miseries and problems….we are our
    own worst enemies. Our concept of an ‘ummah’ is a dream, nay, an illusion,
    a mirage !

    The most brutal wars in recent history were fought in Europe…today they,
    the Europeans, have learnt to live with each other in peace and prosperity and
    the chance of a major war is very remote…

    I don’t see this ever happening in the muslim world…did the ‘west’ break up
    Pakistan … no, WE did it ourselves !!

    Dr Nasir Ahmad M.D.,FRCS(C).,FACS.,
    Flint, Michigan

  • Nadeem  On October 26, 2011 at 5:07 am

    You are very right.WE are wholly responsible for our ‘miseries’ . The blame goes to us as we play in the foreign hands at the cost of the national interest. To blame others tantamounts to only Escapism.

  • Haidre  On October 26, 2011 at 7:06 am

    Barbarians of 21st century being encouraged and applauded by the ‘most civilised’ of 21st century.

  • Arif Khan  On October 27, 2011 at 11:31 am

    Since there are no Nato Troops on the grounds the Wild Libyans can do what they please, Similiar to what happened in East Pakisatn after the surrender ofPak Troops in 1971 Arif

  • Yasmeen Ali  On October 27, 2011 at 11:32 am

    Dear Arif:
    For you:

    NATO Troops On Ground In Libya: Intercepted Phone Call
    Posted: 2011/09/21
    From: Mathaba

    Confirming what we have known, in addition to the 17 special forces captured in Bani Walid, this phone call which was intercepted between a rebel “rat” and the “rat council” TNC military commander, confirms Mathaba reports of the reality that the Libyan Jamahiriya is winning the battle

    HeyU Quality Ads
    This intercepted phone call is a dispute between a Misurati rebel leader and the NTC’s Military spokesman, Colonel Ahmed Bani, showing numerous rebel’s lies & hypocrisy. It confirms several facts:

    – They talk about the presence of U.S & French troops within Misurata and Tripoli, and they are clearly admitting that foreign troops engaged in the attack & occupation of Tripoli which took place August 21, and are still there.

    – A major conflict between the Misurata brigade and the NTC in Benghazi, about how the Misurata brigade is perceived by Benghazi, the minimizing of its role in the fights. The Misurati commander seems really tired of hearing the Military spokesman gloating on TV & in the news, talking about a so-called new National Army, while they are being crushed by the Libyan Defense Forces, without the help of Benghazi. He says “Your So-called National Army has been totally crushed at Dafniya by Gaddafi troops, and they took all the weapons and armoured vehicles. There is no National Army anymore. Where is your National army in Sirte? Are you talking about those waiting outside parading for TV and photographs? A Commander like you should come to the battleground, not go parading on TV! Stop acting like the Americans and French, like Sarkozy parading while the war is still ongoing in the country. Come to the battleground! ”
    – Ahmed Bani, The NTC’s Spokesman, answers him about the psychological operation and aims justifying his use of the word “New National Army”: he says that the whole world is fearing a guerrilla situation in Libya, fearing Al Qaeda and fratricide fights between the different factions. The international community must not see the Libyan rebels as a bunch of different factions, militias and brigades, so he uses the word “Libyan Army” to pretend that Libya is OK, that the situation is under control, and that there are only small pockets of pro-Gaddafi fighters to defeat. So they try to convince the US, Britain “UK” and France that a Libyan army is under construction, blablabla…

    – The Misurata commander stops him, telling him that the US and French are very well informed about the situation on the ground, since they are with them on the ground. They were in Tripoli during the assault, and they are still there. He says in his own brigade only, there is a foreign intel. group of 12 US special ops, and 6 French (spies?), they are giving all the info, through internet and press(?). So the situation is quite clear for them, no need to pretend there is a new Libyan army.

    – A dispute over the weapons and “troops” or “mercenaries” from Qatar. “Where are the weapons from Qatar, where are the troops when we need them?”, says the Misurata rebel. The deficiency of backing troops and weapons from Benghazi, while they have given them 150 millions (?) for it- The Misurata commander says that they didn’t get the weapons they were promised while they know they are in Benghazi. He swears that each of those in Benghazi who betrayed the Misurata brigade will pay the hard price and that the ‘revolution’ will succeed with or without them. He says that even if colonel Bani pretends he didn’t betray, he needs to fix the situation, and give what they promised to the Misurata brigade, as he’s in power.
    – The Misurata commander says that Benghazi owes them money and respect for the Misurata ‘martyrs’, the wounded and amputations(?), for all what they have done, including destroying the Gaddafi army in Misurata and areas “Think about the armies we destroyed, Man, we destroyed 16 battalions in Misurata, there are MASS GRAVES of Gaddafi soldiers, but we are not supposed to talk about it. Who destroyed them? And you are talking about a National army?! Where is your National army of Benghazi? We are taking major casualties right now. Ambulances and planes are full of our casualties; hospitals are full of Misuratan rebels! Where is the help coming from Qatar? Where are the weapons coming from Qatar? You guys are excluding us from Libya like if we were Bangladesh. You are doing worse than Gaddafi, forgetting us and putting us apart”

    Colonel Ahmed Bani ‘NATO’, NTC’s Military Spokesman

    Source!/MuammarLGaddafi/status/115408340133220352(18 SEP 2011)



    NATO Ready To Move Ground Troops Into Libya:CNN


    Are NATO troops already on the ground in Libya?
    Journalists spot Westerners with guns behind rebel lines. Has an air campaign to protect civilians become a ground war to topple Moammar Gadhafi?
    POSTED ON JUNE 3, 2011, AT 12:18 PM

    Libyan rebels poised on a tank: NATO forces have reportedly been seen on the ground supporting anti-Gadhafi forces, a breach of the U.N. resolution. Photo: Wissam Nassar/CorbisSEE ALL 100 PHOTOS
    Best Opinion: Firedoglake, Reuters, Global Research

    Al Jazeera this week aired footage showing 11 armed Europeans meeting with Libyan rebels. U.K. newspapers reported that the men were former British special forces working for a private security firm hired by the British government to help the opposition topple Moammar Gadhafi. Officially, the British government says it has no personnel in Libya, but a senior military source told the Daily Mirror that the men “are representing Britain.” Is NATO overstepping the United Nations mandate to protect civilians, and inching into a ground war to destroy the Gadhafi regime?

    Yes, there is no denying it now: The U.S. and its NATO allies have clearly thrown the U.N. resolution out the window, says David Dayen atFiredoglake. We’ve gone way beyond protecting civilians — NATO has made it clear it “won’t end hostilities until Gadhafi leaves power, and the rebels are united on that point as well.” If there is some “Blackwater copycat” working with the rebels, we’re in clear violation of the U.N.’s marching orders, “which explicitly… excluded any foreign troops on Libyan soil.”
    “Zuma unsuccessful in negotiating Libya cease-fire, Gadhafi exit”

    This merely helps even the odds: Moammar Gadhafi has been using mercenaries to reinforce “what is left of his regular military,” says Mark Hosenball at Reuters. Even if France and Britain have sent private military contractors to train the rebels, the foreigners working against Gadhafi on the ground are still far outnumbered by those fighting for him. And the presence of British security contractors is hardly surprising — it’s no secret that President Obama has authorized CIA operatives to gather intelligence and advise rebels in Libya.
    “Mercenaries joining both sides in Libya conflict”

    The war has entered phase two: We are witnessing “a major shift in the nature of military operations,” says Michel Chossudovsky at Global Research. France and the U.K. are sending attack helicopters that can hammer Gadhafi’s forces from up close, and a few well-placed Western special forces or security contractors can help spot targets for NATO missile strikes. The allies aren’t going into a ground war, but they aretaking the air campaign closer to the ground.
    “Military escalation: ‘Phase two’ of the war on Libya”

  • Willy  On October 28, 2011 at 9:44 am

    And they wouldn’t be in power without NATO. What
    a world…

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