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Amnesty Accuses Qaddafi, Rebels of Human Rights Violations

New Amnesty International report finds that both Qaddafi's forces as well as rebel forces have abused prisoners.
By Elad Benari, Canada
First Publish: 8/26/2011, 11:08 PM

According to a report by Amnesty International, both forces loyal to Muammar Qaddafi as well as Libyan rebel forces have abused Libyan citizens, The Associated Press reported.

According to the report, Amnesty is claiming pro-Qaddafi guards have raped child detainees and Libyan rebels are abusing children and holding migrant workers as prisoners.

The group said it gathered testimony from prisoners and survivors of the conflict in the capital Tripoli, adding its delegation uncovered evidence of rape being committed against inmates of Tripoli’s notorious Abu Salim Prison while it was under the control of Qaddafi’s forces.

Two boys reportedly told cellmates that they had been raped numerous times by a guard. Other detainees said they were beaten in pro-Qaddafi prisons with metal wires, sticks and batons, and were given electric shocks.

In addition, one boy told Amnesty that he responded to calls by Qaddafi’s regime for volunteer fighters. He said he was handed a Kalashnikov rifle that he did not know how to use and was driven to the western city of Zawiya. When he fled the fighting after NATO began bombing a camp that soldiers were using, said the boy, the rebels found him unarmed but shot him in the knee at close range.

The Libyan rebels are also not free from criticism in the report, AP noted. Amnesty said that despite repeated promises by the National Transitional Council that its forces would not repeat Qaddafi’s human rights violations, its observers found some 125 people held in an overcrowded cell with barely enough room for detainees to move.

As well, several detainees held in detention centers by the rebels said they were migrant workers, not fighters.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International said it had uncovered evidence that Qaddafi’s forces killed several detainees being held at two camps in Tripoli, according to a Reuters report.

The group said eyewitness testimony from escaped prisoners described how loyalist troops used grenades and gunfire on scores of detainees at one camp this week, while guards at the other shot dead five people being held in solitary confinement.

“Loyalist forces in Libya must immediately stop such killings of captives, and both sides must commit to ensuring no harm comes to prisoners in their custody,” Amnesty said in a statement, adding: “Even as Colonel Qaddafi is cornered, with an International Criminal Court warrant active for his arrest on charges of crimes against humanity, his troops continue their flagrant disregard for human life and international humanitarian law.”

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)