Our correspondent Andrew Simmons and cameraman Justin Okines joined rebel fighters as they combed Gaddafi's underground hideouts:
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Returning to the surface now but not from the realm of secrecy, now let us now take a deeper look at yet another facet of the hidden things of Muammar Gaddafi only touched upon in the first video, his vast and secretive prison system into which thousands of political prisoners have disappeared, many never to be seen again. These prisons and jails, even ad hoc "internment centers" that have been created since the February 17th Revolution broke out, and who and how many are in them, as well as what goes on in them are largely beyond the public eye, as is any accountability. Let us take a look at perhaps the most notorious prison of them all in Libya, Abu Salim prison in Tripoli, which was only just liberated last week. But first a little background would be in order, as notated in these excerpts from Wikipedia:
Abu Salim prison is a top security prison in Tripoli, Libya which is often described as "notorious" by human rights activists and other observers.You can read the actual Human Rights Watch report on the alleged Abu Salim prison massacre in 1996 HERE.
Allegations of human rights abuses
Amnesty International has called for an independent inquiry into deaths that occurred there in 1996, an incident which some have referred to as the Abu Salim prison massacre. Human Rights Watch believes that 1,270 prisoners were killed. However, its estimate is mostly based on the account of a single former inmate. HRW also calls the prison a "site of egregious human rights violations." Some say that Western governments largely ignored this and no international inquiry was launched, due to "oil interests". The Libyan government has said that the killings took place amid confrontation between the government and rebels from the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, and that some 200 guards were killed, too.Alleged liberation
On August 19th 2011 opposition fighters of the 2011 Libyan Civil War claim to have freed all prisoners from Abu Salim. Among the confirmed escapees was Baltimore, Maryland writer and journalist Matthew VanDyke, who had been captured in March in Brega by forces loyal to Gaddafi. (source)
"Alleged" liberation is, by the way, a misnomer, as you will see in the following video of the liberation of Abu Salim only a few days ago, to the relief of many, many Libyans:
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Also hidden in Abu Salim, an American:
Independent journalist, Matthew VanDyke from Baltimore, who went to Libya soon after the revolution broke out to incorporate the historical events occurring into a book he is writing on Libya, was soon captured by Gaddafi forces and disappeared into this same stealth prison system in March, winding up, as alluded to above, at Abu Salim in solitary confinement, 24 hours a day, for the past six months. MSNBC Chief Foreign Correspondent, Richard Engel, returns with Matthew to interview him from the very cell he was incarcerated in for so long, without any communication to the outside world:
These are but a few of the hidden things of Muammar Gaddafi. There is much, much more to reveal.