December 14, 2011
(incomplete, rough draft/outline)
The following is a series of comments, edited slightly, submitted by contributor Felix on this rebel doctor of peripheral significance. At the moment, I'm not still up to absorbing and editing this, but wanted the post up in case there's more info waiting to be added. It's good practice to have a best place to submit that information.
It's worth examining the BBC report Libya: Fighting in Tripoli amid reports of atrocities by Rupert Wingfield-Hayes at the Mitiga Hospital (August 25)
The Manchester doctor, Moaz Zeiton adds that the disfiguring injuries "couldn't quite be explained"
A patient in bed, charmingly draped with the new flag of Libya, Mansour Al-Hadi is interviewed as the only survivor of the school executions.He says "They were tortured for days,urine was poured over them, finally two nights ago they were ordered outside, the men were made to kneel against a wall,and then sprayed with machine gun fire (allegedly)
it is not clear how Al-Hadi survived.
Peter Graff of Reuters - also reported Thirty Gaddafi fighters found dead at Tripoli camp on the hospital at Mitiga the same day.
Five of the dead were at a field hospital nearby, with one in an ambulance strapped to a gurney with an intravenous drip in his arm.
The encampment was strewn with Gaddafi paraphernalia - caps and pictures of the Libyan leader - and Gaddafi green flags flew nearby.
Some of the dead wore military uniforms while others wore civilian clothes. Some were African men. Gaddafi is known to have recruited soldiers from neighbouring countries.
Two of the bodies were charred beyond recognition. The incident took place at a traffic circle in an area of Tripoli that had been held by forces loyal to Gaddafi.
"Yesterday a truck arrived at the hospital with 17 dead bodies," Kirsty Campbell of the International Medical Corps told Reuters at Mitiga hospital.
"These guys were rounded up 10 days ago. They were found in Bab al-Aziziya when the guys (rebel fighters) went in. These guys were shot in an execution there," she said. The wounds were not battlefield injuries, she said. Rebel fighters overran the fortified Bab al-Aziziya complex, the centre of Gaddafi's power, on Tuesday. She said there had been reports of more bodies, but added: "I myself counted 17 last night." Campbell said family members had identified the victims.
Dr Zeiton is described as an activist who has filed stories for the Guardian newspaper since April. In fact he writes the very next day, 26 August:I witnessed Tripoli's liberation, but the Libyan revolution is not over yet
Later, I was working in the Mitiga air base, where there is a hospital. Around dusk, a large truck turned up unexpectedly with bodies piled in the back, all riddled with bullets. To cut a long story short, an injured person was later brought to the hospital who told us what happened. They were all held or captured over the past week or two in different areas of Tripoli and they all ended up in a school that was being used as a prison by Gaddafi brigades/loyalists. When their guards retreated, they executed all the prisoners – except this injured guy who got shot in the leg and hand then pretended to be dead.
He was able to identify most of the 17 bodies as he had spent some time with them and got to know them all. I took pictures one by one of them and documented all the injuries to their bodies (many of them shot in the head). It was a pretty traumatic experience for me – I spent three hours doing that in a gown and gloves, sweating buckets. With the stench from them all, I gagged a lot – almost vomited quite a few times. These are the kinds of crimes that need to be documented in case Gaddafi is captured
More from him on 21 October
Dr Moaz Zeiton also popped up on Sky TV as Dr Moes(sic) for an interview, شاهد على مذبحة قاعده معيتيقه - Witness to the massacre,Mitiga base, captured here (25 August 11.52) He talks first about working in a large hospital,(Abu Salim?) then he talks about August 24..... "on Wednesday,I worked in a different hospital in the eastern part of the city in the Mitiga Air Base wth is aa hospital which used to be used as a military hospital. Probably around dusk time a truck, quite a large truck with an open back turned up quite unexpectedly and even before got the truck I could hear people crying and wailing so I went out to have a look at what was in this truck ,and even before I got to the truck ..the stench from truck was quite overwhelming .and as I looked inside the truck there was poss 16 or 17 ...I think it was 17 altogether, that we counnted, bodies that were just riddled with bullets from head to toe, I mean a lot of them were in the head actually but they also had bullets in different parts of their bodies. Later we found out what had happened that these were all people that were basically held by Gadaffi loyalists over the past few days and they were possibly captured over the past week or two - kidnapped if you like - they were held in a school quite close to the city centre in the Abu Slim district and what had happened was that as the loyalists retreated they went into Abu Slim and executed all these people before they retreated and one of the civilians that was injured he was actually one of the victims because he was shot in the leg,and they failed to execute him, so he actually told us everything that happened and he was able to identify most of the bodies that were there so that we notified the families as well. But they had been there for about a day and the stench from them was overwhelming,and spent about 3 hours, possibly, documenting and photographing all of the injuries, the entrance and exit wounds from the bullets because it became apparent that, I think, that these are the kind of things that are going to be required to prosecute Gaddafi in the International Criminal Court. These are the war crimes that we are talking about, this is exactly what we are talking about,and I'm sure this has been replicated in many parts of the city and even in the country as well"
The ubiquitous Doctor Moaz was also reported in the Daily Mail, 23 August 2011 Moaz, a Tripoli-born doctor with UK links, was prevented from reaching the centre of the city by clashes and pockets of resistance. Someone was shot in front of him by a sniper from a roof...
Dr Moaz (qualified University of Leeds, 2009) also gave an interview for CBC on on 29 August 2011. He is described as travelling to Libya where "he has been collecting firsthand medical evidence of abuses by Gadhafi forces". (but obviously not of abuses by rebel forces). This is what he says, for the record... Anchor:You are collecting evidence in Tripoli for future war crimes prosecutions... "When the bodies that we received at Matiga Hospital, the 17 bodies that we received a few days ago, there was no human rights organisation at the hospital at the time, no Human Rights Watch no ICRC, the Red Cross, they were't there, so the families of those people with accordance to Islamic tradition they would want to bury their loved ones as soon as possible so myself and some colleagues actually took it upon ourselves to document some of this evidence before the evidence was buried essentially because there would be no way of getting evidence so we undertook the demoralising and depressing task, I must say, of photographing each individual body,photographing the gunshot wounds that they had and the type of injures they had, and a lot of them were quite hard to explain some of them had disfiguring injuries to the limbs and also there were quite a few bodies that had gunshot wounds to the back of the head so hopefully this will stand in good evidence for future war crimes at the International Criminal Ccourt Anchor:"So evidence consistent with torture and exectuion?" (by whom?) Absolutely, ,yes,that also goes in hand with evidence that the survivor gave us. There was a patient that actually arrived at the same time who witnessed exactly what had happened. He was actually amongst these people when they were klled and they had failed to kill him. So he was in a detention cetre that the regime forces had set up in a school and when they retreated from the area when the area was falling they took them out into the yard and executed them all. And himself he was shot three times but they failed to execute him so was able to name 15 of the 17 bodes by name and also by area where they lived because he had spent a week with them in the detention centre.... I am a junior doctor,.. my work has just been general sort of medical and surgical work in a large hospital in the UK.. so I have been totally unprepared... continutes... doctors are afraid to go work ... talks generally.. Anchor:Are you seeing cases of retribution? I wouldn't say I have seen any cases of reribution myself.."retribution is not allowed......I have only been here for one week"
24 August 2011] [Updated 11:02 p.m. ET, 5:02 a.m. Thursday in Libya] The bodies of 17 rebels killed Tuesday by Gadhafi forces near the longtime leader's compound were taken Wednesday to a hospital in eastern Tripoli, a doctor there told CNN. Dr. Mohammed Rashed said the victims had been executed. Rashed, a Libyan who has worked as a consultant in Britain for 25 years, said he was volunteering with a medical group at a Tripoli hospital when a patient showed up Wednesday seeking treatment for a leg wound. The patient told Rashed that he was one of 25 people who had been abducted from their homes by Gadhafi forces, taken to a military barracks near Gadhafi's compound and accused of complicity with the rebels. As the Gadhafi forces began to execute them, rebel forces began storming Bab al-Azizia, he said. The resulting confusion gave some of the captives the chance to escape, he said.
Warning: This site contains images and graphic descriptions of extreme violence and/or its effects. It's not as bad as it could be, but is meant to be shocking. Readers should be 18+ or a mature 17 or so. There is also some foul language occasionally, and potential for general upsetting of comforting conventional wisdom. Please view with discretion.