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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Amnesty Int'l on Out-of-Control Militias

February 19, 2012

Amnesty International (AI) last week released a report that's sure to have Misrotten militia jailors fuming mad. Rebel fighters are still not being called out for conducting most of the horrific mass-scale "Gaddafi atrocities" of the war. But they are criticized for widespread torture, illegal detentions, war crime mass expulsions (Tawerghans, Mshashiya tribe, Misratans who dared to leave) and more. Refugees are raped, "suspected loyalists" tortured to death, common criminals and foreign black men are "interrogated" and beaten, and the "feds" don't even bother investigating any of it. (see the article Mainstream "Concern" Over Rebel Torture for previous examples and notes on this issue).

Well, AI been collecting lots of consistent testimony, photos and video, plenty of evidence of things that'll make those in the civilized wold who bombed these guys into power want to puke. AI did their part, among so many others, making the moral case against that old regime and for the rebels. For their part, they're doing a decent job on the clean-up half of the job, to the effect they able.

Here's their own article announcing the report:
And a direct link to the report (English):

I've just had a look at much of that report, and it's pretty horrifying. And what they saw, bad as it was, can only be a sampling, the stuff so common it can hardly be covered up. What's happening in the more remote chambers can only de guessed. The farthest edges glimpsed by AI from morgue photos include dead people half covered in black bruises, whipped until their flesh came off, toenails are pulled out, extremities sliced and carved up. And I didn't read the whole thing yet. From the report, one heart-wrenching example:
Abdellatif (Lotfi) Iyad Mohammed Zbeida was detained on 11 September 2011 by a militia from Misratah near Tripoli but immediately handed over to a local council. He was subsequently moved to the Sidi Khalifa Military Council, in the former Internal Security building in downtown Tripoli (Jumhuriya Street, now 17 February Street). The family was able to visit him once and on occasions he was able to call them on the phone of a sympathetic guard. The last call came on 22 October, asking for food for Lotfi, which the family took to the detention centre and it was accepted.

On the night of 25/26 October, Abdellatif Zbeida was badly beaten and at 7am he was taken to the nearby central hospital. He died almost immediately. Video footage filmed at the morgue shows Abdellatif Zbeida’s back completely black with deep bruising from the shoulders to the knees, open wounds and missing flesh in his lower legs and chest, and deep whip marks and cuts on his upper arms. The forensic examination found deep bruises and abrasions all over the body, as well as marks on his head, ears and nipples caused by electric shocks. It concluded that death resulted from the severe abuse which also caused these wounds.
On the upside useful insights on the limits of human suffering, and maybe intel useful in hunting down the rest of the known Loyalist thought criminals, is likely flowing like a geyser in Libya. It's a new great manmade river of brutally stolen information, allegations and confessions, true and false, closing old cases and creating new ones, requiring more arrests yet.

It's largely the rawness of the militia abuses, apparently, that's at issue to Amnesty. And the fault, as always, goes right back to the villified Gaddafi system. Donatella Rovera said in their article:
"A year ago Libyans risked their lives to demand justice. Today their hopes are being jeopardized by lawless armed militias who trample human rights with impunity. The only way to break with the entrenched practices of decades of abuse under Colonel al-Gaddafi's authoritarian rule is to ensure that nobody is above the law and that investigations are carried out into such abuses."
It's not really hard to meet these criteria. Just conduct an "investigation," not necessarily a fair one, and make sure the exculpations are legal. The thuggish way they don't even bother is what's really making it hard for the West to just accept, as-is, the fruits of their sponsored revolution.

From the article:
At a detention center in Misratah, an Amnesty International delegate saw armed militia members beating and threatening some detainees whose release had been ordered. An older detainee from Tawargha was cowering, squatting against the wall, and crying as he was being kicked and threatened by a militia member who told Amnesty International that "those from Tawargha will not be released or we'll kill them."

In an interrogation center in Misratah and Tripoli, Amnesty International found detainees who interrogators had tried to conceal and who had been severely tortured -- one so badly that he could hardly move or speak.

Not a single effective investigation is known to have been carried out into cases of torture, even when detainees died after torture at militia headquarters or in interrogation centers.
The NTC remains unwilling or unable to offer the people of Libya protection from these abuses unlocked by anarchy.

There once was a government in place both willing and able to put these thugs in theirs. But someone killed that government in a long process that provided plenty of time to re-think things. That persistence has now given us a chance for a longer-yet process where, if possible, every heart who supported that system is tortured to some kind of death or other.


  1. 22 BODIES

    On Saturday, reporters saw the putrefying bodies of 22 men of African origin on a Tripoli beach. Volunteers who had come to bury them said they were mercenaries whom rebels had shot dead.

    Reporters saw the bodies of 22 men of apparent African origin at a Tripoli beach on Saturday, people who locals said were mercenaries killed by anti-Gaddafi fighters



    African workers live in fear after Gaddafi overthrow

  2. Thanks so much for this article, hurriya. Note yet another photographer, credit Reuters/Anas Mili, in that narrow corridor with Alex Thomson! Men accused of being mercenaries fighting for Muammar Gaddafi look on while being detained by rebel fighters at the Khamis 32 military encampment in southern Tripoli August 28, 2011. Will post soon on this strange incident. Suddenly after 26 Aug, following HRW/AI obserations everybody is writing about anti-black, sub-Saharan African attacks of the rebels (after 6 months...)

  3. Amnesty International’s report implicitly endorses NATO’s killing and wounding of tens of thousands of Libyans. According to this propaganda, Moammar Qaddafi led a “repressive regime”; “Hundreds of armed militias [are] widely hailed in Libya as heroes”; “millions of people [. . .] took to the streets a year ago to demand freedom, justice and respect for human rights and dignity.” The unvoiced assertion is that NATO’s attack was fair when, in fact, it was a criminal, murderous violation of Libya’s sovereignty.

    AI’s propaganda never describes the positive side of Libya’s “repressive” government. According to ex-Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, “The [Libyan] Jamahiriya—which had the highest living standard in all of Africa—had free education up through the Ph.D. level; free health care; free utilities; subsidized—and free, if you were poor—housing; subsidized food; subsidized transportation, including car expenses.”

    In 1969, Moammar rose to power in a PEACEFUL revolution, replacing a pro-US dictator-king. At the time, life expectancy for Libyans was about 50 years; literacy was 20-25%. Under Moammar, these figures skyrocketed. Life expectancy rose to as high as 77 (some sources say 72), while literacy rose to as high as 89% (at least one source says 83%).

    Free apartments, free water, free electricity, free healthcare, free education, gas at 53 cents a gallon—repression has never looked so attractive.

    Who was Moammar repressing? As best as I can tell, religious lunatics were oppressed or, phrased more accurately, prevented from denying the freedom of others (especially women). President Obama is killing Islamist militants in Pakistan and Afghanistan, as well as, a Brookings Institute report indicates, a much larger number of innocent civilians. If Obama can kill religious extremists in Afghanistan and Pakistan, why was it wrong for Moammar to imprison the same types in Libya?

    As for Amnesty’s claim that “Hundreds of armed militias [are] widely hailed in Libya as heroes,” I ask: “Hailed by whom?” By the thousands slaughtered in Sirte? By Libya’s women who clearly have less freedom than before? By the Libyans who valued People’s Congresses? By1.5 to 2 million blacks, who now have a dangerously wrong skin color for Libya?

    A year ago in Libya, millions were not demanding “freedom, justice, and respect for human rights and dignity.” Amnesty International should read its own reports. A 16 Feb 2011 AI report refers to a crowd of protestors in the “hundreds” in Benghazi, not millions. Moreover, it is well known that Eastern demonstrators were dominated by religious fundamentalism. Religious fundamentalism is completely incompatible with “freedom,” “justice,” and “human rights” as westerners understand these terms.

    As the historian William Blum judges, “it appears rather likely that a majority of Libyans supported Gaddafi. How else could the government have held off the most powerful military forces in the world for more than seven months?” NATO’s deposing a popular leader—the single largest demonstration in Libya for 2011 was held 1 July in favor of Moammar—is neither just nor democratic. Indeed, NATO grossly violated international law, which is to say, Obama, Cameron, and Sarkozy violated international law. War of aggression is a crime; NAZIS were convicted for invading Poland and hanged. Obama, Cameron, and Sarkozy have committed a capital offense.

    This is Amnesty’s subtlest, most immoral propaganda. The report mentions twelve deaths in captivity but says nothing about the tens of thousands killed and wounded by NATO bombs, missiles, and attack helicopters. Amnesty’s silence endorses this killing.

    Art Bethea

  4. Hi Adam,

    [This material wouldn’t fit in my previous post.]

    Your blog is doing important work. Yes, too late to save the Libyans, who appear to be totally screwed, and not yet authoritative enough to help Syrians, who are now in the crosshairs of Responsibility2Protect, the latest con to sell imperialism to unsuspecting consumers. The Neo-conservative war drive which, lusting for re-election, Obama has adopted is not stopping with Syria, however, and force can be brought to bear on western politicians to change course.

    I must admit, I almost like Moammar. He said that he was going to die in the land of his ancestors, and so it came to pass. Can you imagine an American politician risking his life? They won’t even dare to tell the truth. Which is to say, they can be scared away from their elitist imperialism.

    If enough people knew how badly these externally imposed regime-change wars go for citizens of the invaded countries, they would support neither the wars nor the merciless leaders who seek to wage them.


    Art Bethea

    PS: You might consider the ballsy act of changing the name of your blog! Why? Libya experienced much less a civil war than a western-imposed regime change.

    PPS: Why is it so hard to make out these words when one is trying to prove he is human???

    1. @ Art: Thanks for popping in and then some.I forgot I have word verification. Sorry for that, but I think I'd get too much spam appearing without it. Even with, I still get some.

      You have some great thoughts I'll respond to later on.


  5. Good points,Art. But I will dispute one point: the crucial and well co-ordinatd emigre and dissident movements in Canada USA, UK and Ireland were populated mainly by highly educated professionals and not "religious lunatics" as you put it. These emigres have little interest in migrating back to Libya so apart from settling old scores, one wonders what they wanted for Libya. As if a NATO counter revolution will suddenly bring everybody together... They're away from it all now anyway. Amnesty? What a farcical organsation.


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