(incomplete, rough draft/outline)
last edit Dec. 26
Below are various comments compiled from other posts, by Felix and Petri Krohn, unattributed here, awaiting a re-assembly by myself. I invite more temporary clutter and further thoughts below. For a little more on Khoms and rebel tales of regime villainy there, see this post.
Col. Twair Shows the Find
Col. Salem Tweer, head of the al-Khoms military council - his Facebook fan page:
الشهيد البطل العميد مهندس سالم عبدالسلام الطوير
(The hero martyr Brigadier Engineer Salim Salam Twair)
On September 8, the captured soldier took Tweer and a team from al-Khoms to a remote site called Wadi Dufan between Orban and Bani Walid, about 60 kilometers south of al-Khoms, where they exhumed the 18 bodies. Around 11 p.m. they brought the bodies by truck to the morgue at the Tripoli Medical Center, where they were briefly inspected by Human Rights Watch. Tweer said the bodies were of the men who had died in the containers.Libya: 19 Suffocated in Gaddafi Detention
Bodies Revealed by Gaddafi Soldier
HRW, September 9, 2011
Survivors - at least five?
dated 11 September
In a photo set unearthed by Petri Krohn, Daniel Etter photographs someone with the caption:
Abdul Rahman Muftar Ali Ahmed Sharif, 23, shows where he was bound to be tortured in a factory in Khoms, Libya, Sept. 7, 2011. During the last days of the Gaddafi Regime he was held in a shipping container with nine others, who all died of suffocation or dehydration. Sharif was taking part in protests against Gaddafi and he thinks he was arrested because someone saw him spraying anti-government grafitti.No other reference in English shows this name, or this exact version.
The accompanying, traditionally blurred of course, video footage, somehow acquired by Reuters, was diligently reproduced by The Guardian and the Daily Telegraph
Mohammed Ahmed Ali, [a teacher of Arabic, 54, per the Telegraph] with voluminous white beard and cool shades on the top of his head.
The younger survivor is identified by a shorter name, Abdelrahman Ahmed Sherif
2 Sole survivors...(from 2 different containers..), it is a familiar pattern.
Take a look at the Sky Video , accompanying report Gaddafi Prisoners 'Left To Die In Desert' uploaded 10.41 hrs September 2 2011:
The Younger witness is now described as Abdel Rahman Moftah Ali, 24 and a third witness is appears in the text, but not in other reports, Faraj Omar al Ganin, 27
Diana Eltahawy, North Africa researcher at Amnesty on camera is "certain these crimes were committed by Gadaffi Forces". Based on "found mobile phone footage"?? We know about witnesses' reliability from the Tripoli Khamis Shed massacre... Has she been taken for a ride? However Eltahawy had only recently been reported by Simon Denyer of the Washington Post on 26 August where she
described a record of abuse, torture and the extrajudicial killing of captured pro-Gaddafi fighters that has followed the rebels from east to west as they have taken over the country.
Am I correct to assume, somewhat surprisingly, that Diana Eltahawy somehow completely missed the Khamis Shed / Warehouse massacre in Yarmouk??
To keep this together, more Container massacre stuff here, thanks to Petri Krohn, from The Blaze. The story needs to be compared with those above...2 survivors again now...
another search team found 18 bodies near a road construction site ....... Geography student Mohannad [sic] Berfat said he endured 10 days of beatings and electric shock in the shipping container-turned-prison in the coastal town of Khoms....Berfat, the former detainee whose cousin died in one of the containers, was called over to help with an ID. [At the Tripoli Medical Centre....]The Video
Gaddafi loyalists' 'torture chamber and mass grave' in Khoms - video
Amateur footage obtained by Reuters purports to show anti-Gaddafi fighters being tortured in what appears to be a shipping container, while residents of the Libyan town of Khoms, 60 miles east of Tripoli, have unearthed the bodies of 17 men in a mass grave is the Guardian's title. The video maker (Guardian site) is taken around a site by one ."“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"
The whole scenario reminded me greatly of the Tripoli shed episode, without the burning...and of course a mass grave was dug up too.
Human Rights watch only got on the scene 3 days later,Libya: 19 Suffocated in Gaddafi Detention but with much more detail...
Local journalists in al-Khoms showed Human Rights Watch a video they said had been taken from the cell phone of a Gaddafi soldier...The video is not something I'd call an obvious fake, like those listed here, at all. It could be, with dedicated method actors, but it's at least as likely a genuine example of regime brutality against people who were, or were perhaps working with those who were, getting the nation sanctioned and bombed into utter destruction. Its exact relevance to the case in question isn't clear. It seems to show the regime uses cargo containers to hold prisoners sometimes. That could explain the story we hear in two ways:
Quote: The bodies of the men who were said to have suffocated to death on June 6, 2011 in al-Khoms, are seen at the Tripoli Medical Center morgue. © 2011 Fred Abrahams/Human Rights Watch
1) Loyalist forces let 19-ish people suffocate in one of these makeshift prisons
2) The rebels used this reasonable impression to illustrate their cover story for 19-ish people they themselves killed somehow, making sure the video and story surfaced together and remained linked.
A Few More Bits
Reuters, September 6
Toward the end of that day, the guards opened the doors of the two containers. They took out Ahmed Ali, and the one other survivor. They allowed them to wash, dressed them in military fatigues and soon after let them go free.Amnesty International report, Sept. 1
He said they took the bodies out of the containers, then poured petrol inside and set light to it to get rid of any evidence that people were held there.
Later, a man contacted the new authorities and confessed to having helped bury the bodies at a place called Rbane, south of Khoms. Local rebel fighters said on Monday they had found the burial site and were starting to recover the bodies.
Another survivor, Faraj Omar Al-Ganin, 27, said that detainees were getting increasingly desperate as the hours went by. Several started drinking their own urine and sweat.The blood was from his head? It's a story with enough detail it sounds plausible. But questions remain.
“For hours we were screaming for help; the detainees in the second container were doing the same,” Al-Ganin said.
“It then became eerily quiet. I realized that I was the only one still conscious. I screamed: ‘They have all died’. The guards finally opened the doors. They then made me drag the bodies out by their feet.”
Abdel Rahman Moftah Ali, 24, was the only survivor of the smaller container, and watched his fellow inmates die in front of him:
“None of us could stand up straight anymore. Foam was coming out of some people’s mouths… I saw my cellmates drop to the ground and become motionless one by one… I think I fell and hit my head…Eventually I regained consciousness, and was covered in blood…It was a day from hell.”