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Gaddafi Used Torture Squads in Bid to Preserve Rule

By Press Release  Posted by Mac McKinney (about the submitter)       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink

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Horrors in Khoms (al-Khums):


from Reuters Exclusive Investigation by Christian Lowe and Amnesty International Report on war crimes in Khoms (al-Khums):

For original Reuters report, CLICK HERE.

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The Reuters report was just released today, Sept 6. 2011, so we begin with an excerpt from that report:
KHOMS, Libya (Reuters) - Libya's Muammar Gaddafi deployed special squads which held suspected opponents in shipping containers, tortured them for information about insurgent networks and disposed of their bodies in unmarked graves in a campaign to smash the revolt against his rule.

Evidence gathered by Reuters in the provincial town of Khoms shows an organised system of repression with methods including delivering electric shocks to suspects' genitals, keeping them for weeks in baking heat with only a few sips of water a day, and whipping them with an electrical cable while their hands were bound with plastic ties.

It was all part of a deliberate strategy, said Nabil Al-Menshaz, an official in the rebel council which took over Khoms after Gaddafi's rule there collapsed last month. "They wanted to frighten the people, so if anyone was thinking of going over to the rebels, they would change their minds," he said.

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The brutality of Gaddafi's forces in the capital, Tripoli, in the final, chaotic days before rebels overran the city has been well documented. Dozens of bodies were left lying in the streets, and witnesses described prisoners being massacred before their gaolers fled. Thousands more were killed in battles in cities like Misrata and Zawiyah.

But accounts from Khoms paint a different, and in some ways even more sinister picture. Months before the rebel victory, and out of sight of the outside world, Gaddafi was operating a system of torture - separate from the army and police - that was so well-organised the units has their own command structures and bureaucracy.

On a wall at a construction site just outside Khoms that one of the units used for detaining suspects, pro-Gaddafi forces had scrawled in red crayon the name of their unit: "Soqur Al-Fatah" - or "Hawks of Al-Fatah," a reference to the 1969 Al-Fatah Revolution that brought Gaddafi to power. Underneath that, in the same handwriting, someone had written the words: "Death Group." (FOR THE FULL ARTICLE, CLICK HERE)

And now Reuters has added this video to their written account: CLICK HERE

********

FROM THE SEPT 1, 2011 AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL REPORT ENTITLED:

Libya: Detainees left to suffocate in crowded metal containers

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Pro al-Gaddafi forces left 19 detainees to die of suffocation while locked inside metal containers in the sweltering June heat in north-western Libya, Amnesty International has discovered.

Three survivors described how al-Gaddafi loyalists tortured them and then imprisoned them along with 26 others in two cramped cargo containers on 6 June at a construction site in al-Khums, 120 km east of Tripoli.

The detainees endured temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius and drank their own sweat and urine when the limited water supply ran out. Their captors shouted "rats, shut up", ignoring their cries for help.

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