Warning

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.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

See-Through Salem: Al Farjani Hits the Big Time

January 7, 2012
(incomplete - last edits March 28)


<< See-Through Salem: Dr. Salem al-Farjani Or, What Ever Became of Dr. Rajub? 

UN
By November 2 at the latest, our missing persons and massacres expert, Dr. Salem al Farjani, was the acting chairperson of the National Missing Persons Commission. On this day, none other than UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon visited the shed massacre site,  and his tour guide was Dr. al Farjani. He deciphered for him the large-scale Gaddafi regime massacre he has now been caught lying, and apparently helping others lie, about having witnessed. From a UN press release:
The Secretary-General then visited a mass-grave site near the capital and met with the survivors and families of victims of a massacre that had been carried out by the Khamis Brigade 
[...]
After being briefed on the incident in the warehouse by Salem al Ferjani, the acting Chairperson of the National Missing Persons Commission, the Secretary-General told the group he was profoundly shocked by what he had seen and heard. He said the perpetrators of all such human rights crimes should be brought to account. 
[UN]
Hopefully he'll get another shock soon. One photo linked at the PR shows about ten of these survivors Moon met, none of whom looks obviously familiar from the August batch. Another UN photo shows al Farjani himself, full body, standing with Moon inside the warehouse his alter-ego had visited at least once.

We see here that he's not tall, perhaps a bit leaner than before, and sporting the beginnings of a nicely gray beard. This, as we'll see, was the start of his new, famous-and-not-quite Dr. Rajub look, along with always pointing his chin down, eyes up at militia commanders and Koreans alike. It's apparently the chin he's trying to hide more than anything.

I found an account of Moon's visit from the other side at the Facebook page of the association of holocaust survivors of Yarmouk. Google translated from the original Arabic (goofy parts intact):
...the delegation to listen to the survivors of the Holocaust on how to get the crime. The Alovdayda to listen to the demands of the families of the victims and survivors, which was applied material and moral support by UN agencies to the affected people. He also asked the people to open the tomb, which buried the bodies were burnt with the support of the UN discernible DNA samples where it is difficult discernible such samples. Students as well as urban residents unzip frozen funds for the benefit of the Transitional National Assembly in order to be compensation for the victims of crimes of Gaddafi. [any money if it was a TNC crime and these people aren't the real victims?]

Dr. Salem has Ferjani arranging to meet the delegation of the UN victims' families and survivors. And Dr. Salem with Mr. Secretary-General in this regard and has toured the scene of the crime and informed him of what happened in the prison.

The Association thanks all of the Delegation of the United Nations as well as the delegation of the National Commission to identify the bodies
[Dr. Salem] and tracing of his interest in this subject.
ICC
An excellent find from contributor Felix will start the other half:

Dr. Salem al Farjani, left, and Luis 
Moreno-Ocampo, right (Nov. 23, 2011)
It's a Reuters video, Dr.Salem al Farjani (left), apparently, giving a guided tour to none other than ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo! The video can be seen here. It's for sale, and the preview is not great, squished format. This is stretched a bit at left, in a cropped view. The video's better than that, the subjects are just in the background, with one other guy's face filling half the screen) It's not around anywhere else I could find easily (I tried the on-screen serial number, and it only refers to this ITN source video and two cached versions of the same page).

The description says:
The International Criminal Court's (ICC) chief prosecutor visited a military base on the outskirts of Tripoli on Wednesday (November 23) where the charred remains of 53 people were found after the fall of Tripoli to rebel fighters.
Luis Moreno-Ocampo, who is visiting Libya for talks with authorities after the capture of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, met families of those killed by loyalists of Muammar Gaddafi at the Khamis 32 military base.

Moreno-Ocampo said the ICC was still investigating the alleged crimes committed by Saif al-Islam and other members of the former regime.
 
"We are still investigating, that's why I'm here. We are still investigating the crimes and eventually, if there are no security problems, we can pass to them everything we have. Because, in fact, many of them, as today, they are helping us to collect the evidence. So I think it's important to understand for Libya this is crucial, and for our rules, they can do it. But of course all is subject to the ICC judges' authorisation," Moreno-Ocampo told reporters after seeing some of the charred remains.
(skin perhaps, and other charred debris, not the actual bodies, which were removed almost three months prior)

Dr. al Farjani isn't named nor undeniably recognizable here, except in his spot at Ocampo's right side in that charred old shed, like when Moon visited. But this is the first time we can do any voice verification. It's very brief, and he has his back to the camera, just outside the shed. He says the families want the truth about the massacre, and survivors too, and he says it in the exact voice of "Dr. Salim Rajub" speaking in English to Sky News about actually hearing and seeing it happen. And it's probably the voice of "Ahmed al Farjani," the construction worker who sheltered escapee Atiri, right before "Dr. Rajub" brought Atiri to Sky News with him, standing on his right side.

Recall that Dr. Salem told Sky News the ICC and Moreno-Ocampo needed to investigate this Loyalist crime, and the witness he coached, Mustafa el-Hitri, says he saw Khamis personally walk into the compound and give some kind of order just before the massacre.

A Profile Article and Human Rights Consultations
Then there was a December AP article publicizing Dr. al Farjani and his struggle, and his help to Physicians for Human Rights to understand the crime (forthcoming ...) If he's nominated for a nobel prize or some such for his work exposing the "holocaust," that too will be added here.

For now, see the AP article and my post on the PHR report he advised on.

March 28: A video of Moon and Farjani and some victims and family.

Bashir Mohammed at 1:10?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Status Request: Dr. Abuzaid Dorda

Posted ??
last update March 30


It seems worth re-posting here this initial appeal, as run by Mathaba, to make safe a prominent captive of the new government of Free Libya. The UN Secretary General has already been alerted (or an attempt was made). I will follow up, in this space, with any news that emerges (not necessarily while it's new).

Help us to save the life of Dr. Abuzaid Omar Dorda
Posted: 2011/10/29
From: Mathaba

His life is in grave danger. Persons like Dr Dorda are important for any future prospects of peace in Libya, so now the Abdelhakim Belhaj’s Tripoli brigade are trying to kill him.

We are urging international community, humanitarian organizations, UN and CoE to promptly demand the release and guaranties for the life of this respected man, whose human rights are grossly violated, by the ‘new democratic’ Libyan regime.

He was thrown out of a window and one of his doctors told his family that both of his legs were broken and he has been badly beaten and tortured for the past month.
“Mr. Dorda survived a murder attempt last night, 25October, 2011, at the hands of his guards in the building where he was arrested. He was thrown off the second floor leading to several broken bones and other serious injuries. Authorities were forced to move Dorda to Maitiga hospital in Tripoli where as of now he is being held under extremely poor conditions. Dorda is not receiving the proper treatment duly and legally accorded a political prisoner, let alone that required under the terms of human rights and other international treaties.” [source]
Lizzie Phelan, an independent journalist from Britain, who was reporting from Libya during the NATO bombing, said:
“The Libyan media have tried to say that Dr Abuzaid Dorda, one of the most well respected members of Libyan politics in recent history, tried to commit suicide. Everybody knows how defiant and strong Dr Dorda is and that this is far from the truth. The reality is he was thrown out of a window and one of his doctors told his family that both of his legs were broken and he has been badly beaten and tortured for the past month. The last person to see him was a woman from Human Rights Watch called Susan a couple of weeks ago who said he was fine! (She has since left the country). The family has had no contact him since he was detained and they have no way of reaching him at a time when it is clear that now Abdelhakim Belhaj’s Tripoli brigade are trying to kill him. A figure like Dr Dorda is important for any future prospects of peace in Libya and the chances of a backlash are heightened if he is martyred. I have received a reliable report that the “rebels” tried to assassinate respected brother Dr Abuzaid Dorda, a senior member of the Libyan government who is held in high esteem by the Libyan people. Dr Dorda will not submit to the torture that they have tried to inflict (both of his legs have been broken and worse) and give over the information they desperately want from him. He used to be an ambassador to the United Nations himself, but now we can expect the United Nations and all other instiutions of “international law” look on while a senior figure of a sovereign state is threatened with assassination by their stooges?“
Want to help us in this campaign to save the life of Dr. Abuzaid Omar Dorda??? Send letters, emails, phone calls to the addresses listed at Libya S.O.S. or open and spread this PDF doc


Update March 29: I never did help spread the word beyond this, but someone did, and got someone beyond those who sympathize with the loyalists, those concerned only with "humans," to take up Dorda's case. Human Rights Watch, very anti-Gaddafi like the rest of the juggernaut, has said (on Feb. 14) he needs lawyers, medical care, and no more torture. He also needs to be either released or harged with something. I suspect it'll be the latter, and bullshit. The man is 67 years old. They intend to have him die in custody, and no exact reason is needed.

He told HRW that he wasn't thrown through a window, but jumped, after being threatened with violence, because jumping out a window requires a little explaining. Maybe the other marks are where he fell down the stairs, or bumped his head, clumsy him. That was all under a "small militia," but not the Belhaj/LIFG-led Tripoli Military Council had him and he said he felt safer.

Also, see below for a torturer-apologist demonization screed against poor Mr.Dorda. I draw the NTC's attention to the specific crimes this commentator lays out (with no evidence provided). These, he feels, justify any and all punishments Mr. Dorda (not Dr. he says) might suffer.
- "Abuzaid Durda was responsible for the killing and torturing thousands defenseless Libyans"
- "he stole billions of dollars"
- He's a "low life scum bag drunken fool"
- He was "the first to start kissing [Gaddafi's] ass [in 1969]"

Monday, March 26, 2012

Khamis Brigade Shed Massacre: The Local Fighters

January 18, 2012
last update March 29, 2012


Here we'll explore a rebel military leader and his base of operations, both previously mentioned in connection to criminalizing Gaddafi support in liberated Libya. There may be no significance to the shed massacre, but it's the possibility of one that made me post this. Below, discussion may develop the ideas further and give more clarity. To start with, a widely-re-posted but little-followed-up-on AP article.
Ex-Libya rebels search homes of Gadhafi loyalists
Karen Laub, AP, Sept. 6 2011
TRIPOLI, Libya — Former rebels, weapons drawn, burst into the houses ofsuspected supporters of Moammar Gadhafi, searching rooms and hauling away military uniforms, a portable safe and documents that appear to link residents to the deposed regime.
[...]
In Khalet el-Furjani, a neighborhood of about 4,000 people, the undisputed boss is now Hussein Furjani, who temporarily traded his white preacher’s robe for military fatigues after rebel fighters rolled into Tripoli on Aug. 21.

Furjani heads the local military committee and operates from his mosque. On Tuesday, he gave orders from an office chair in the mosque courtyard, sporting dark shades and a turban, while cradling a Belgian assault rifle and a walkie-talkie.
A photo of the sheikh (AP, Francois Mori) reviewing "possibly incriminating" documents (issued by the old government) can be seen at this Washington Post page.

Furjani's HQ, then, is this mosque/military base for Tripoli's fifth column, rising with the rebels as they arrived to topple the government. It was shown to journalists in early September, its yard stuffed with police motorcycles and hundreds of household items, ostensibly taken from looters to return to its owners, largely the government and fled/dead loyalists. (some of it seen here)

As the base of local fighters in Khelet al-Furjan during the August fighting, it's a possibly significant locale in our study of war crimes there. Black men were taken prisoner up and down al Hadbah road, a north-south thoroughfare the mosque may sit just off of (see below). Furjani's men didn't likely take on the Yarmouk military base, a half-kilometer away, at least not by themselves. But Misrata brigade fighters rolled through apparently late on August 23, and found about 140 extremely messed up dead people in the NATO-bombed compound.

These guys might have helped, providing a base with the mosque for more deilcate operations. There can't be many miosques in the neighborhood, so this might be the same one behind which 22 bodies, mostly or all black men, were found executed on August 26. For reference, here's the satellite imagery of that area and where 13 of the bodies were situated -near the doorway connecting this old wadi/road with one of the buildings inside the wall.

March 25: A Dr. Salem Link?
The name of the local commander, Shiekh Hussein Furjani, immediately raises the possibility of relation to Dr. Salem al-Farjani, aka local "witness" to the shed massacre, Dr. Salim Rajub. Looking at the photo of the sheikh linked above, he can't be the same man, nor the 70-year-old father he reportedly took with him to massacre sites he was investigating and/or lying about. The beard and sunglasses obscure his face, and the headdress covers his hairline, making facial matching difficult. They do look possibly related. The best clue is the stubby arms and pudgy fingers, not unlike those of "Dr. Rajub." Visualize a blue short-sleeved shirt, and we might have, say, an older brother.

The same al-Farjani/Furjani family fielding a preacher and rebel commander, and a doctor and rebel "forensic scientist?" Sure, why not? It would explain how a transparent idiot like al-Farjani was given such a delicate task. The local fighter knows a massacre of their Misratan comrades (and/or themselves). He has a brother who's sort of a doctor, who can enlist his hospital's help identifying the dead. It could explain where Dr. Rajub said he was when the massacre happened: "here at this mosque." His brothers' mosque, where the local fighters were based?

March 29: Not that mosque.
I was so late in adding that thought, Petri and Felix debunked part of it it months ago and it didn't sink in with me. Furjani's mosque appears to be larger and with different windows than the small mosque near Yarmouk which, by a photo of about that time, looks almost abandoned. The 22 "mercenary"looking dead guys were apparently not dumped behind his (main) mosque.

The possibility of a Furjani-Farjani connection does, however, remain, however speculative and remote it might be.

Racist Brutality, up to the Shed

March 26, 2011

The following will be sub-section 3.1 "Racist Brutality, up to the Shed" in the upcoming CIWCL shed massacre report A Question Mark Over Yarmouk. It's long, with seven articles carved out within it.

3.1.1: "People Say..."

From February forward, the Libyan revolution was recognized, to some extent, for an unsettling bias against Black people. The racism on display has deep roots in Libya’s identity as an “Arab” nation on the continent of Africa, and the pan-African policies of the Gaddafi government. Dismayed by black foreigners, about two million in a small nation of only six million, anti-regime activists have eagerly latched onto the idea of ubiquitous black mercenaries, hired to kill them and fit to be gotten rid of. One rebel fighter helping hunt down suspected mercenaries explained “There are a lot of black people that loved Gadhafi because Gadhafi loved black people and gave money to African governments.” [DEM]

But well before mercenaries were thought of, nationwide race riots in 2000 saw Hundreds of thousands of African workers and black Libyans attacked in what witnesses and The Economist called a pogrom. Often attacking with machetes, light-skinned rioters left dark-skinned bodies “hacked and dumped on motorways,” lynched a diplomat from Chad, burned down Niger’s embassy, and warned Libyans caught sheltering Africans “that their homes would be next.” The death toll was certainly higher than the 150 initially cited by “diplomats,” along with tens of thousands injured, and hundreds of thousands, the Economist reported, “herded into trucks and buses, driven in convoy towards the border with Niger and Chad […] and dumped in the desert.” Some of these surely died as well. [EP]

All this barbarism, according to the Economist, was sparked by “the rumour that a Nigerian had raped a Libyan girl in Zawiya,” the city near Tripoli where “pitched battles” took place. [EP] A decade later, race riots again appeared, with not a single rumor of a single rape, but Twitter messages swearing Gaddafi had “given the African Mercenaries,” thousands of them, armed with swords and anti-aircraft guns, “full freedom in raping Libyan women” nationwide. [TM] Breathless and widely believed reports, never photographed or recorded for proof, of murderous African repression mushroomed in the first days of protests, with claims that Gaddafi was using the foreigners in a “genocide against the Libyan people.” [NLT] or “killing us with his African mercenaries!” [NTW]

This idea was widely reported as nearly fact in the Western and Arab media. A resort to hired brute force was useful in proving the regime’s loss of domestic support, illegitimacy, and fitness to be destroyed. Credulous, high profile dissemination came from the likes of regime official and known anti-African racist, Ali Abdelaziz al-Essawi, called out for provocations at the time of the 2000 riots [UNW]. A decade later he would resign as Libya’s ambassador to India to join the rebel NTC and to tell al-Jazeera on February 22 the “people say [the mercenaries] are black Africans and they don't speak Arabic. They are doing terrible things, going to houses and killing women and children.” [DSG]

Across the country and the following months, when the villains were caught, they were shown as proof – terrified or dead black men, often with passports showing an African origin. That ignores the very real possibility the people were just a migrant worker looking for work in Libya or Europe, as they usually said when given a chance. Others would claim to be Libyans from Tawergha who never fought, or a naturalized citizen and a soldier who only fired in self defense, or who even surrendered. The various disguises would be seen through time and again as Free Libya grew. Mercenaries were consistently identified, collectively punished for reported atrocities, and often sent “back to Africa” with a bullet to the head.

3.1.2: Punishing the Mercenaries

CIRET-AVT-CF2R gave a figure of 3-4 million for those foreigners who had fled from Libya by May. These included one million Sahel, West and Central Africans, and 600,000 Sudanese. [CICF] These continued to flood out in a seaborne migrant wave, clogged the ports past capacity. Hundreds of thousands of others were left behind on the waiting list in dead-end camps, or hiding wherever else they could inside the cities, farms, and factories of Libya.

The world watched with some concern this outpouring of human misery, hoping the war would soon be won and the instability ended. Somewhat glossed over was exactly what the Africans in particular were fleeing from. Commencing on the first days of the protests and insurgency (they started together, contrary to popular belief) black foreigners and black-skinned Libyans alike started suffering the backlash over the mercenary reports. Unlike the attacks by Africans, the counter-measures were often verifiable.

One dead and stiff mercenary, believed to be flown in from Chad, was shown on al Jazeeraon February 19. It’s been reported as Az Zintan (among other places) where this proof was scored, but they had to go into a government facility with a security gate to find it (see inset).

This "mercenary" was actually a Libyan Internal Security soldier, a national policeman for riot control, judging by the puffy blue camouflage. As far as anyone knows, Internal Security only hired Libyan citizens. [TM] That same public servant killed in the line of duty was seen again weeks later, dried out, dumped in the desert south of the city (here given as Zawiya) [LL1].

The desert south of Zintan saw other dumping of human trash. A group of at least twelve dead black men was filmed, in civilian clothes, desiccated in the blowing sands in their various pathetic final poses. This eerie echo of the pogrom busses of 2000 was branded the usual way - the men were called Nigerian mercenaries, who ran all the way out there by no fault of the rebels, and died, aside from two the rebels allegedly saved. [LL2]

Another Afro-merc famously shown being beaten and then dead on Youtube videos has been named as Hesham Mansour (or Hesham Shoshan), a Libyan-born soldier, 27 years old. His family was shown on Libyan TV responding to his callous public lynching. People danced on his body, with his pants pulled down in dishonor, and sodomized him with his fearsome mercenary gun. [HM1]. This weapon was brandished, rare evidence of the Africans actually being armed. It’s been identified by others as Belgian-made FN303, a non-lethal weapon used by police for riot control. [HM2] The CIWCL cannot vouch for any of these details, but finds them worth passing on.

The “Aruba school” in Shahet, east of al Baida, hosted a number of alleged mercenaries in late February. About 325 mostly black men, by their own count, flew into L’Abraq air base on February 18. An army of about 3,000 armed locals had come to meet the 400 African mercenaries someone told them were coming. After a short battle, “the protesters in al-Bayda have been able to seize control of the military airbase in the city,” an activist said on the 18th, “and have executed 50 African mercenaries and two Libyan conspirators.” [BB] “Roughly 200” and then 156 survivors were shown to the media days later. Aside from their Libyan bosses, all were mercenaries from Chad and elsewhere, sent to kill and, judging by the generic Viagra they found, to rape. [LAS]

Given that about 125 of them were dead, Time’s correspondent noted “the remaining men consider themselves lucky,” as well as primarily “Libyans,” albeit ones “with roots in Chad or Niger.” There were a few non-Libyans, About six Chadians and some Sudanese teenagers among them. But when Peter Bouckaert of Human Rights Watch was allowed to inspect the mercenaries he found they “were, in fact, 156 soldiers from the south of Libya,” Radio Netherlands Worldwide reported, “and not from another African country.” By March 2, they reported, the remaining half of the Libyans sent to al Baida had been quietly released to go home. [LAS]

Further, these soldiers repeatedly said they agreed only to counter-protest in Tripoli, with someone else’s armed insurgency having them re-routed to al Baida, apparently to help defend the army base, and were handed guns for defense, just in time to be captured. [LAS] The prisoners were Libyans, and the rebel captors had every chance to learn this in Arabic. Why they insisted these were foreign killers, up until Bouckaert publicly corrected them, remains unexplained.

The fighting forces of Misrata have become rightly infamous for their ongoing campaign of ethnic cleansing against their neighbors in Tawergha, black Libyans, descended from Tuareg slaves centuries ago. The Misratan rebels still saw slaves, judging by their Graffiti about “purging” them. After suffering loyalist strikes based from and using fighters from Tawergha, the Misratans – with NATO air support – emptied the town and sealed it off in mid-August, expelling its population of 30,000. [LFP]

Then the Misratans pursued the Tawerghans, ones who appear on lists, to wherever they scattered. This was largely to Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps around Tripoli, which were unable to guard against frequent raids during which people were taken and never re-appeared. [BJ] Fearing Misratan raids, a Tawerghan man spoke to journalist David Enders, saying security for the camp was provided by a brigade from Benghazi who were nice enough. But he said “we don't know what we'll do if they go back to Ben Ghazi.” [DEM]

In Benghazi, their fate had been rubber-stamped. NTC Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril said, on the Misratan plan to wipe Tawergha off the map, “nobody has the right to interfere in this matter except the people of Misrata.” [SD2]

A surgeon who left Benghazi, his home of 21 years, and fled to Tripoli, reported “they wanted to kill blacks there. I’d be killed if I stayed.” [TMF] CIRET-AVT/CF2R spoke of Benghazi’s human trafficking mafia, in 2011 just put in check by Tripoli in conjunction with Italy. In revenge, they threw their full support behind the rebellion and found other ways to squeeze money from migrants. As their May report said:
“Numerous gangs and members of the city’s criminal underworld are known to have conducted punitive expeditions against African migrant workers in Benghazi and the surrounding area. Since the start of the rebellion, several hundred migrant workers - Sudanese, Somalis, Ethiopians, and Eritreans - have been robbed and murdered by rebel militias.” [CICF]

3.1.3: Blame Games

Summary executions began early in al Baida and surrounding cities, especially from among the Sabha “mercenaries” described above. 22 loyalists, largely black and perhaps from that same batch of captives, were executed by rebel forces around February 22, somewhere between al Baida and Dernah. Their bodies were shown in a few videos first appearing early on February 23. Bound hands-behind, blindfolded, laid face down and shot dead, they wore a mix of military and civilian clothes, and all had their shoes removed.

These videos were published along with, and apparently part of, a total 130 government soldiers executed in the east by their own officers, for refusing to kill protesters. Press TV for one showed this scene, explaining “an amateur video shows the bodies of some 130 slain soldiers with their hands tied behind their backs. The mutinous soldiers were shot dead in al-Baida […] amid more reports of defiance among army ranks and soldiers who have refused to obey orders by embattled Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi to shoot peaceful protesters.” [PTV] The claim apparently originates with the International Federation for Human Rights (IFHR/FIDH), and its affiliate Libyan League for Human Rights (LLHR), although the original report is hard to track down.

Countering that claim, another video showed at least one of those killed, and perhaps several others, being harangued and sentenced to death. It’s done by their Islamist rebel-looking captors, not by uniformed commanding officers. [LBS] This was a rebel video originally, obtained somehow and shown on Libyan TV (al Libya) as the outside world ignored the grave implications. From this, and the unconfirmed and logically tenuous dispatch from the LLHR, it could reasonably be inferred that someone had tallied 130 soldiers killed by “protesters” up to that point, and put them all under the one umbrella of mythology.

This notion emerges time and again in the cases under study; no matter the evidence involved, it’s only on notable occasions (like the October Mahari Hotel massacre in Sirte of more than 50 loyalists) that no firm accusation of regime authorship is put forth.

3.1.4: Smite at their Necks

The repeated claims of Gaddafi-regime massacres are often directly belied by Islamist methods of execution. Anyone is capable, but enraged Islamits are more likely than a professional state security force to do things like cut people’s heads or hands off. The following examples are some of the most relevant low points, and by no means the full roster of often-bizarre atrocities that have accompanied Libya’s revolution.

Consider the “protester” conquest of Benghazi’s chief military base on February 20. Enraged by days of civilians being killed during attacks on the Al-Fadhil bin Omar barracks (“the Katiba”), they finally took the place, with the aid of heavy weapons and a suicide bomber with a very powerful car bomb. The Guardian ‘s Chris McGreal later reported “what followed wasn't pretty. … some of Gaddafi's soldiers were lynched. At least one was beheaded.” [CMG]

The Internal Security soldier killed in Az Zintan on the 19th, mentioned above, wasn’t just killed but tortured. The close-up shots reveal he suffered a left index finger broken in half, a right cheek torn open, and his nose cleanly sliced off of his face. The city of Az Zawiya to the north was under rebel control in late February and early March, with no security force intervention. An investigation by the respected French-based groups CIRET-AVT and CF2R found that, with no help from Gaddafi loyalists:
“There were also atrocities committed (women who were raped, and some police officers who were killed), as well as civilian victims during these three weeks. . . . The victims were killed in the manner of the Algerian GIA [Armed Islamic Group]: throats cut, eyes gauged [sic] out, arms and legs cut off, sometimes the bodies were burned . . .” [CICF]
As mentioned, fifty other “mercenaries” from Sabha were lynched in al Baida, with 15 hanged in front of the courthouse there. This was acknowledged by eventual NTC chief Mustafa Abdel-Jalil; an unfortunate incident borne of rage and chaos. But at least one more public lynching happened in front of the former Justice minister's own courthouse in Benghazi, and it was in late March.

With NATO’s help, rebels had taken Ras Lanuf, and on the night of the 28th, as seen in a video, at least four black men of unclear origins were taken back to Benghazi, paraded before the courthouse in a tiger cage on the back of a pickup truck. By the 30th, there was another video from the same place, again at night, showing a dead black man dangling upside down from a window of Free Libya’s answer to the White House. Dressed only in green army trousers, he was having his head slowly hacked off by a few men with swords, while a cheering crowd of hundreds watched and filmed it. Mr. Abdel-Jalil has never publicly acknowledged this incident. [LBB]

In mid-July, just outside Qawalish, six executed Gaddafi soldiers were found dumped in a water basin. One was black, one had his pants pulled down in dishonor, one was “cleany decapitated.” It was said by “rebel sources,” based on “they say so,” that they’d been “killed and hidden by other Qaddafi soldiers.” [CJC] [TRS] In this instance, hardly anyone believed them.

On October 20 in Sirte, about 100 people were left dead in the field following the fatal capture leader Muammar Gaddafi, his son, and his defense minister. At least ten of these were executed, including four black men across the road from the famed drainpipe. One of these, a reporter noted, “had been decapitated, his dreadlocked head lying beside his torso.” [RI] No one blamed that on loyalists at all. A few days later, ten badly decomposed bodies were seen by HRW in a large water reservoir. A video shows three bodies, two apparently beheaded, one at least a black man, floating face down, with his pants down. Again, it was said Gaddafi’s people did all that before the rebels controlled area, and Human Rights Watch, with questionable reasoning, agreed. [LWB]

3.1.5: Blame Games with Flames

Burning has been a call sign of the Gaddadfi devils from the outset. February was the first full day of rebel control in Benghazi, following the suicide bombing and soldier executions. Videos showed at least five badly charred bodies, said in vague reports to be found this day in “military barracks” in Benghazi, and to be “those of soldiers savagely massacred for refusing orders to fire against Libyan civilians.” [O24] [IB]

The “savage” part suggests what one man specified; a former soldier at the Katiba, self-described, unnamed, and paraded before journalists. He said ‘the African mercenaries put guns to our heads and forced us to open fire on the people,’ he claimed. ‘If someone refused then the mercenaries poured petrol over their head and set them alight. I saw this with my own eyes. I had to do what they said.” [RP2]

Perhaps coincidentally, the UNHRC was told by an eyewitness about a different incident, “the extra-judicial killing of five Chadian nationals,” arrested on that basis, and driven to “the military barracks in Benghazi,” where armed men “were said to have poured kerosene on their bodies and burned them to death on 21 February.” It’s not clear if these two groups of five were the same. Another video in fact shows there are at least six charred bodies, and slightly larger numbers have been reported. By far the most extreme is this claim from the Katiba’s smoking ruins, passed onto the Guardian:
"More than 350 people have been killed, [a local man] said, while adding that this death toll did not include the grim discovery made inside the army garrison headquarters by those who entered it following its surrender. “We found 150 corpses burning and we believe they were the bodies of officers and soldiers who refused to follow orders to fire on the people,” he said." [F21]
If there really were 150 soldiers burned inside the rebel-swept barracks, this would be troubling, in part because no one else has mentioned this scale of atrocity there, as if in embarrassment.

The 130 executed soldiers the FIDH apparently reported must not have included this 150. It did include the 22 that rebels killed, as already mentioned. And according to one source, the number also “included a group of mutinous soldiers slain in the nearby city of al-Bayda, where the burnt bodies of 48 soldiers were found at a military barracks.” The source given is the International Federation for Human Rights, IFHR/FIDH, “quoting unnamed humanitarian and academic sources.” [MCH]

Later in Sirte, it was reported that 42 victims of a massacre were found, near Muttassim Gaddafi’s home, suggesting he ordered it. Some of the corpses were shown to the media on October 12, as the rebels said they had just taken over that area, and still had resistance not far away. A survivor was able explain it all and identify the vitims from video as the suspected rebels he was held with. [LMH]

One spot with about ten victims has been located in satellite imagery by the CIWCL. [LMH] Three of these were reportedly run over with vehicles, and were then burnt with tires. Two skeletal charred bodies were shown, one seen at left, another with its legs missing, and crushed leg bones all around. A Danish reporter was told, by a rebel fighter, that these were all Gaddafi victims, explaining “the proof is that they have burned them.” [NYH] [LBR] It is eerily similar to Yarmouk, six weeks earlier.

The other seven bodies were shown piled by a partially toppled wall, bound, face down, shoes removed. At least five of them were black men, and only one clearly light-skinned. Previous rebel claims of territory held had that area under control by October 10 or even by October 4. [LMH] But clearly by the 12th the loyalist butchers were gone, and yet the same bodies were found again on October 14, now doused with black fluid and one of the victims with a freshly burned face. [LBR]

3.1.6: Ambiguous Killings in the Tripoli Theater

The rebel conquest of Tripoli was dubbed Operation Mermaid Dawn and launched August 19 with NATO air support. With Misratans sweeping in from the east and Zintanis from the west, the operation brought new opportunities for horrible things to surface. The time of conquest of each area saw the greatest of the Gaddafi regime’s alleged brutality in that area; everywhere the rebels went, nebulous loyalists had just executed detainees and then fled. Most of their victims were black men, although few acknowledge this. Frequently, the killers were specified as African mercenaries.

At a traffic Roundabout in front of Muammar Gaddafi’s Bab al-Aziziyah compound, activists in a tent city had long staged demonstrations in support of the Libyan government and defiance of NATO. As of August 24 at the latest, they stopped. At least thirty bodies were seen rotting in the sun across the street, the grassy islands, the solidarity tents, and other random places nearby. Many were killed near cars that had been peppered with bullets or rammed off the road, doors flung open, blankets and clothes strewn about. [LRV] A pile of seven rotting bodies in a field was doused and partly burnt. [L7M] Some at least had clearly been dead for several days.

On the 25th, two days after rebels first partially took the area, they brought Dan Rivers from CNN to see and show the dead outside Bab al-Azizyah. “The rebels say they were executed by Gadhafi's retreating forces,” Rivers said, “but these bodies appear to be black Africans […] raising questions about whether the men were executed by the rebels.” [DR1] {DR2] Rivers apparently had to do a second take, cut off by the minders [DR3]

A New York Times piece the next day reports on more bodies in the streets from the night’s fighting. Rebels were saying the usual, that still-fleeing loyalists were still flee-killing good Libyans. Then one courageous man stepped up and “said they were [Gaddafi’s] fighters, slain by rebels.” One of the rebels sternly informed the resident of Free Libya he was not authorized to speak on this matter. [SF]

Disturingly, many victims right by the roundabout were in and around a medical tent, a specially protected space. Gaddafi loyalists, by the green cloths tied to wrists and ankles, were killed in gurneys and stretchers, on the floors of tents, just outside tents. Some were bound, and some were receiving treatment for previous injuries. One victim was charred and missing its legs. One seems to have been stabbed in the top of the skull, perhaps with a sword. [LRV] The whole complex of tents was systematically burned down in disgust by the rebel fighters, perhaps with bodies inside.

Nearby, 18 corpses were reported along the dry riverbed separating Bab al Aziziya from the Ghargour neighborhood to the southwest. Many of these were bound, some with their own belts, but many others unbound, at least when found. Nearly all the CIWCL can make out are clearly black men. One bizarre story told to Human Rights Watch relates to four of these men seen dumped together, two of them in blue/green medical scrubs. A two-witness team suggests African mercenaries killed two of them (a doctor and “another guy,” but not the driver), stole the gas from their ambulance, then drove off in the ambulance to dump three bodies at the same spot these four were seen, by the other witness’ house. The first witness confirmed the two, and said the third was the driver. No one mentions the fourth body, or the race of the victims. HRW implicitly considered this story confirmed and blamed fleeing loyalist mercenaries from Africa for this black-on-black violence. [HR2] [LDR]

Abu Salim was the green loyalist holdout neighborhood immediately south of the roundabout area. Abu Salim trauma hospital saw the worst scene of al, publicized in a big way on August 26. Initial reports said that 75 or “more than 200” mysteriously dead bodies were found rotting inside it. The death toll was 165 by a report from two weeks later. Sadly, the last one is the most credible. [ATH]

Who the victims were and how they died was always left vague. The overall “official story” is that ordinary locals were injured by Gaddafi snipers for protesting, and were taken to the hospital. But the staff fled the hospital - “for fear of the snipers” – and left the critically injured patients to die. Further, more patients kept on being brought in, and simply left there despite no receiving staff.

Contrary to that, CTV’s reporter Janis Mackey-Frayer saw signs of gunshot executions of patients in their beds, and identified one victim from his papers as a special forces soldier with the Libyan army The rest also seemed to be loyalists, injured in the fighting, killed in the hospital. The presumably loyalist staff was gone. In one stretch of hallway, blood spray consistent with gunshots was visible in at least six spots. One man at least was cleanly beheaded in his hospital bed, his right arm frozen out in protest, one fingernail torn in the struggle. Between him and others bled in that room, the entire floor was covered with a thick layer of drying blood.

Of the 20 bodies shown piled outside with blankets and clothes, with the dozen or so scattered in the drive, the several in the morgue, and the 20 or 21 in the blood-filled sick ward, only one visible victim was clearly light-skinned (an old man in one of the morgue’s drawers). As sometimes noted, the majority again were black people. For once it wasn’t all men, but also two women and two children, Alex Thomson found. [AT2]

That Gaddafi loyalists weren’t directly blamed is noteworthy. It leaves no explanation at all for the obvious massacre inside that protected medical space. Perhaps even the Misrata fighters couldn't believe themselves saying these 75-163-200 killings were loyalist work. A few locals, perhaps by reflex, did whisper that it was probably that. [LTH]

The world gasped at news of this carnage, and might have drawn a blank if not for what rebel fighters and “witnesses” explained for them. Sarah Whitson for Human Rights Watch announced that “Gaddafi government forces went on a spate of arbitrary killing as Tripoli was falling.” [HR2] They carried out these arbitrary, cruel, and racist killings as they fled, easier than walking and chewing gum at the same time. In turn they fled just as they were attacked, which was just as the racist, brutal, unchecked rebels entered town. Why this fails to set off more alarm bells than it does is one of the prime questions the CIWCL would like to ask all the readers of this report.

3.1.7: Bad Omens Around Yarmouk

The pattern described above arced across Libya, through areas where government resistance was worn down by sanctions and bombs.It fish-hooked into Tripoli from the east and west, pointing in space and time south, towards the Yarmouk base and the smoldering find of August 26. The follow-on news reports of the 27th and 28th caught a possibly relevant side-story. Black men found walking across the road were arrested and brought into the base through the eagle gate. AP’s Ben Hubbard reported that he saw “rebel forces punching a dozen black men before determining they were innocent migrant workers and releasing them.” [BHH]

A Daily Telegraph video shows the arrest, the bewildered men standing amid a pile of leaves and tree branches - they apparently just had some fierce bullet pruning done above their heads.[??] Channel 4’s Alex Thomson was there, his cameraman seeing only a gentle pat on the head of a “Gaddafi fighter, Gaddafi fighter.” Thomson said the men were slated to visit a “special council” for mercenaries. “The men, clearly terrified and some weeping, said: "Please don't go. Don't leave us. They will kill us.” So he made part of the story refusing to leave until he saw that they were safe. [ATC]

These suspected mercenaries were given water and apparently set free, but followed by media and rebel fighters, to the farm they were squatting at. The men were out looking for food for the community of “hundreds of Africans […] including many women,” seen by AP reporters Hubbard and Karin Laub. [HLF] Photographs from the site show armed men watching the threatened blacks mill around the big warehouse, some packing their stuff. [AOP] A Reuters video shows a good view of their daily life and explains “they have no food and the water coming out of the outside tap is salty. They live in fear." [DLF] The men didn’t find any food, but at least they weren’t executed, apparently.

The rebels had a chance to show their compassion for people stuck in a bad situation in the country they were liberating. Instead, recognizing the base of the African mercenaries, they shut it down. As Laub updated later in the day:
William Osas, a 32-year-old Nigerian, said many of them were once farm workers. They fled the fighting and have been living there for months, often receiving food from the black soldiers in Gadhafi's army.

Now the rebels have told them they must get out. "They told us that we have two days to leave here, and if we don't leave they'll kill us all," he said. "They said that Gadhafi uses blacks and that we are with Gadhafi, but we don't know anything about that."
[LCT]

They were apparently only evicted on September 4, moved to a factory only to be kicked out of there, then split-up and sent to different camps. [UNO] No one is sure if their numbers have stayed the same or if any of them were routed to other places even less friendly.

The CIWCL has located what seems to be the farm area [GM2], as seen in photographs. It lies just over a kilometer southwest of the Yarmouk base, and a bit closer to a mosque behind which 22 executed bodies were discovered on August 26. The graphic below shows where these areas are relative to each other.

The 22 bodies were sprawled along a dry riverbed turned dirt road, running along the back wall of what could be the mosque used by the fifth-column rebel fighters in that area. These were led by Sheikh Hussein Furjani, reportedly “the undisputed boss” of Khelet al-Furjan, a preacher who took up the fight as the rebels brought it in. Karin Laub, AP, reported “Furjani heads the local military committee and operates from his mosque,” [KL6] [LLF] There can only be so many mosques in that area.

CNN reported on the 29th that “a resident who lives nearby told CNN that at least 22 bodies were found in a ditch near the [Yarmouk] base, but it was not clear whether those remains were connected to the killings at the warehouse.” [CNN3] David Kirkpatrick from the New York Times visited the scene on August 27 and reported back, “at least 15 other men were found rotting in a wooded gully,” at least one of them bound, and with seven others already removed. [DKN]

The dead were called Gaddafi victims, randomly kidnapped, some for their cars. Richard Spencer of the Telegraph went there and spoke to Nasser Aweidat, a doctor, who said his brother Mohammed had disappeared after going to help a hospital. “I found him here,” the man said. Spencer added “the family believe he was killed [by Gaddafi loyalists] for his car, perhaps as a means of escape.” [RS]

Mr. Aweidat was likely a light-skinned man, and Spencer said the bodies he saw were only “blackened by the summer heat.” [RS] But in fact he was seeing black African skin, as clarified by two known videos from the site. The first is described as filmed on August 26, posted later [MD1], and the other labeled 2011-8-27, encoded the 28th, posted the 29th. [MD2] Both videos show about the same array of brutalized men who could pass for mercenaries. The CIWCL can count fifteen bodies, and can identify none as light-skinned. Some area bit vague, but a majority are clearly black people from Chad, Nigeria, Libya, or wherever.

They wear civilian clothes, some of it perhaps ill-fitting. Some are partly or perhaps fully stripped, and some have their pants down. They were executed on-site, judging by the dark pools around many of their heads. All seem to be about fighting age except perhaps one (sadly, the potentially naked one) that looks perhaps too small to be full-grown, and another that seems to have a graying stubble beard.

Compounding all this, these victims were apparently doused and burnt by someone, perhaps trying to hide clues, at some point after these videos. As seen on the 26th and 27th, these primarily at least not burnt. a photo by Ron Haviv/VII mid-day August 28 of the execution site shows the bodies removed, but the spots they had been blackened as if the bodies had been burned [RH1] [RH2] The grass and twigs beneath are blackened, but not reduced to ash, so there was no burning of the intensity seen at the shed. But the role of flames is corroborated by a report from Al Manaar: “When we visited the place referred to by locals behind a mosque there, we saw the burn marks on the soft ground where the bodies were set on fire.” [AM]

This would have been arranged, most likely, by whoever was in charge of the area. This was all after the 26th, after all Gaddafi loyalists had been defeated and rebel militias had free reign. Once again, the killing, if not the burning, was blamed on shadow loyalists, African mercenaries with a thirst for the blood of innocent people who would, after death, become black themselves, with decay and/or with fire.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Unfulfilled Chemical Warfare Prophecies

The War Crime that was Only an Alleged Thought Crime
March 26, 2012
(incomplete)


I'll start with the following, a great comment left elsewhere by site member Felix.
---
suddenly after the fall of Tripoli, Gaddafi was revealed to have stocks of Chemical weapons. Which of course, at the very time he could have used them, if indeed they existed, he didn't. No matter. Channel 4 was onto the case. See A visit to the desert warehouse of death, 9 September 2011 by Foreign Affairs correspondent, Jonathan Miller.

The office attached to the [Abu Shwesha] base contained documents indicating that shipments of chemcial warfare protection suits and decontamination kits and antidotes were shipped from the base to Gaddafi strongholds, including Sirte, as recently as the end of July
Ah!
Local people knew of the existence of this place but none had ever been here.
So, despite co-ordinates being given to NATO, they had somehow not bombed the site.

So, did any UN Chemical weapons inspectors visit? The protection suits were shipped between April and June 2011 - no problem there, just a no fly zone and an encircled country, but no matter - Noman Benotman who works with Britain’s Quilliam Foundation says the remit of the scientists – one allegedly from Russia, the other from Ukraine — was to adapt conventional munitions to carry a chemical payload.

See also Jonathan Miller's Ch4 video from 11 september, where he meets his secret agent with the American accent who had "cultivated regime figures-turned informants" From two of the secret agent's contacts: "He was talking about chemical weapons and Gaddafi had chemical weapons and he was going to use these weapons pretty soon if he lost control of Tripoli itself." (just having lost control of Tripoli....)
---
Other things I'll cover and/or let others:

Early threats of chemical warfare planned against the Libyan people, gas masks seen, etc.

Poisoned water in the Qala'a/Yefren area near Az Zintan.

Quatchi Canada's video of dead sheep - poison gas?

Turning Tripoli's water off on supposed rumors that Gaddafi had poisoned it, then struggling for (days? weeks?) to turn it (and the electricity, security, etc.) back on, having a hard time because "Gaddafi's brutal 42 year reign" somehow caused it to be off and hard to turn back on.

Etc...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Alex Thomson Saves African Migrants?

Caustic Logic
Feb. 20 / March 20-??, 2012

Feb. 20: This post is a spot for a fertile discussion I'm not following that's popped up in different spots. I don't even want to dig up the video links right now, but Channel 4's Alex Thomson famously visited the Khamis Brigade Yarmouk base some days after rebel victory there, August 28. Before seeing the shed massacre victims, burnt and otherwise, he 'happened upon' a scene of detained black men, acting terrified, crying, sweating. Threatened by rebel thugs as "Gaddafi fighters," they say they fear they'll be killed. Thomson intervened by staying until they were safe, apparently proven innocent by virtue of "their women" hiding nearby, etc.

What I'm hoping is some readers more versed and with a few minutes could re-gather the relevant known video / image /article links first, then provide commentary. This I can maybe read closer finally and respond, and either way pull the highlights of into this post, and delete the duplicate comments elsewhere, some other day.

March 20: Contributors have put this all together for me. Hurriya had the stories and videos, Felix had more, Petri found the location of the "Afromerc base," not far from the Yarmouk mosque dump site, and so on. Comments below until I get it all up here.

Videos: Daily Telegraph shows the arrest:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/libya-video/8728087/Libyan-rebels-arrest-men-they-suspect-of-being-mercenaries.html
A rebel fighter from Misrata, Mohammed Ayoun, says the suspects would be taken to a special council set up to deal with suspected mercenaries, and promises for the camera noone would hurt them, silly men, quit crying.

Thomson and Channel 4 show more of the drama after:
http://www.channel4.com/news/evidence-of-libya-massacre-as-remains-of-50-people-found
More notes here later.

After their release, due to a rebel, or Thomson, or whatever in combination, the media then followed the men farm they were hiding at and saw hundreds of African men and women living in fear.
AP/MSNBC: Gadhafi forces killed detainees, survivors say
On Sunday, in a neighborhood on the outskirts of the city, rebels apprehended a dozen black men and accused them of being mercenaries in Gadhafi's army. The detainees were occasionally punched before one of the rebels convinced his comrades the men were just migrant workers.

William Osas, a 32-year-old Nigerian, said he and other Africans had fled to a farm nearby to escape the fighting, and the men were detained while they were looking for food. Reporters from The Associated Press visited the farm and found hundreds of Africans living there, including many women.
They weren't saved yet.
Laub_updated 8/28/2011 8:50:38 PM ET
Now the rebels have told them they must get out.

"They told us that we have two days to leave here, and if we don't leave they'll kill us all," he said. "They said that Gadhafi uses blacks and that we are with Gadhafi, but we don't know anything about that."

He said all they want now is to return home.

There's a set of photos by Sergei Ponomarev and Giulio Petrocco, which can't be linked to individually. These show African migrants, women and men, looking on, packing up, lining up, as if leaving. They've been "asked to leave," pretty please, or die. One image shown elsewhere shows an armed guard waiting for the mercenaries to pack. Many other photos are mentioned and linked below.

Petri found an area he's sure is the one shown in photos. I agree it's at least an uncanny match in the area. Here's the spot.

It's about a kilometer south and west of the Yarmouk mosque dump site, where 22 executed black men were found on August 26, dead for a few days and bloated. Their bodies were later burned by rebels and removed, presumably to be called unrecognizable Libyan detainees, who will be recognized by light-skinned family.

It seems perhaps the occupants didn't leave even by the end of the month, and stayed alive there until a week later.
UN OCHR (Office for Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs) Report no 55, 8 September 2011
More than 200 third country nationals were evicted on 4 September from a farm in the Salah ad-Din area in Tripoli. They were subsequently relocated to a nearby industrial site, where they were confronted on 5 September by members of the local community who did not agree to their presence in the neighbourhood. Around half the group was transferred to a facility near Mitiga, and others have gone to the port. The Protection Cluster is monitoring the situation.
It's not certain the uncertain number remained the same. SOme of these people could have been shaved off with no one but the mercenaries knowing.

Is Human Rights Watch, Sept. 4, referring to the same farm?
The de facto authorities in Tripoli, the National Transitional Council (NTC), should stop the arbitrary arrests and abuse of African migrant workers and black Libyans assumed to be mercenaries
[...]
Human Rights Watch has not found evidence of killings of Africans in Tripoli or systematic abuse of detainees
[...]
In Tripoli Human Rights Watch has found evidence that the Gaddafi government recruited and used African mercenaries from Chad, Sudan, and other countries. Human Rights Watch researchers located a large base used by hundreds of mercenaries from other African countries since February 2011, who were recruited and commanded by the 32nd Brigade of Khamis Gaddafi.

Monday, March 19, 2012

See-Through Salem: Al-Farjani's "Premature Dissolution"

March 19, 2012

<< See-Through Salem {Masterlist}

We have just learned our celebrity faker Dr. al-Farjani has lost his perch helping the NTC figure out who killed who. His much-mentioned (by him) national commission for missing persons recently suffered a mysterious cancellation. Perhaps the problems first publicized here - his activities posing as a witness and coaching other witnesses to create the "facts" he was tasked with finding - contributed. Perhaps they were unrelated. No explanation has been publicly offered.

Previously, we outlined his late-2011 rise to authority in "Free Libya" and attainment of global recognition as the co-chair (and sometimes Deputy chairman) of the highly-relevant-sounding commission. As of mid-February he was mentioned not as a co-chair or deputy chair of anything, but rather “journalist Salem al-Farjani.” He told the Magharebia news service, one year after the civil war was begun, “it was the first time Libya had an occasion to celebrate” and he hoped “that the souls of martyrs won't go in vain.” Same guy? Major qualification just not mentioned?

In mid-March, he was scheduled to give a speech in Geneva sponsored by Swiss group TRIAL (Track Impunity Always). In the interests of holding war criminals accountable, they decided to host “a privileged meeting with Dr. Salem Alferjani, forensic scientist and human rights activist and former Deputy Chairman of the Commission for Missing Persons in Libya,” speaking on “Identifying the Missing: Truth and Accountability in Post-Gaddafi Libya.” [TR] The possible liar and absolver of rebel war criminals was called an esteemed expert in how truth and justice relate to each other.

“With the support of Dr. Salem Alferjani, forensic scientist and human rights activist, TRIAL called for a temporary halt to all excavations… […] Dr. Salem Alferjani has been the Deputy-Chairman of the Commission for Missing Persons in Libya, which was in charge of the exhumation and identification […] Despite the premature dissolution of the Commission, Dr. Alferjani is convinced that the disclosure of the truth regarding these mass graves is the only way to provide the victims’ families with a minimum of justice, thus he is still engaged in the identification of the victims of human rights violations in Libya.”

The truth does in FACT underpin justice, noble convictions aside. That is why he was there from the beginning helping seed lies about the shed massacre, to ensure the rebel/NTC/NATO thugs were NOT held accountable, and loyalists were convicted.

There might be a temptation to write off the whole issue of “See-through Saelm’s” apparent deceit. Engendering that temptation might have been the very idea behind shutting his operation down. However, he and his baggage remain relevant in three important ways.

1) Even besides lectures, the man is still at work, at least according to TRIAL, who related his activities after the Commission’s unexplained end:
“Currently, Dr. Alferjani works together with several local and international NGOs, such as Human Rights Watch, Physicians for Human Rights and the International Committee of the Red Cross. He is also an important focal point in Libya for the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Luis Moreno-Ocampo and the Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki Moon.”

2) His past work hasn’t disappeared. He touched much (and many) while in charge, shaping a case that might be entirely bogus, a case which in all likelihood stands unchanged.

3) He might be a rare window into how these things work. It does Libya and the Truth no good if someone as deceitful as Dr. al-Farjani is shunted aside and replaced with someone just as crooked but less obvious about it.

Khamis Brigade Shed Massacre: The Charred Victims

Amid the Cinders, a Skeleton Crew of Potent Clues
January 11, 2012
(incomplete, last edits March 18)

<< The Tripoli Massacres
      << The Khamis Brigade Shed Massacre

The main attraction of the media-hyped shed massacre behind the Yarmouk military base is the holocaust-evoking image of dozens of charred skeletal bodies sprawled across the floor of the rickety building. I'm late to start careful scrutiny of the scene inside this room. That's how I tend to work-from the outside in. Burnt bodies lack many of the clues (especiallyskin color) that I usuallylook for. But they're not devoid of clues, singly or collectively. Not by a long shot

I decided a separate post was needed to collect a tedious list of all imagery sources. It might be handy to open that in a new tab, as images are cited.

March 18: Total re-vamp coming, new numbers, less graphics. Total count of consistently identifiable bodies from available imagery: 38. There are certainly more than this - 40-50 remains my rough estimate.

The Graphic:
Ribs or eyes usually means laid face-up, otherwise face-down or on the side. North (NNE) is up, south (SSW) is down, so body #15 for example is "pointing" south, face-down. Unclear areas (mostly in corners) of more than a body, less than a body, perhaps one missed in confusing views, get letters. "a" is a partial rib cage. "b" is a large pile of debris that's largely non-human seeming (burnt junk) but surely with at least two bodies mixed in-some ribs are faintly visible. Area d is not really unclear, but just in case, it's got a name. Tissue "f" looks kind of like a slumped or heaped body, there in some shots, only its smoke stains remaining in others. 

Don't take the missing and present body parts too literally. Some spots, heads, arms, legs, aren't always clear. I don't want to say a head isn't there unless I'm sure (and I'm not, in any of these cases). I don't want to say feet are there unless I'm sure, because the norm is they're not. Hands and arms past the elbows are almost as frequently gone. 

My previous notion of then bodies #15/16 being layered to obscure the one's beheading ... not founded, I decided. That's now the singular body 17. Old #14 with the metal thing embedded is now #16. #11 here I missed previously: visible in Sky News footage, it's apparently not there in later footage - perhaps the body removed and put in the shipping crate outside? 

I'll start other notes as they occur to me. 

#1: Less burnt than most, hardly any bones are visible. The skin on his head is gone, showing bare skull, apparently the top and back visible - where we should see the skull's face. That the head may not be oriented right suggests it may not be attached. Further, the victim's outstretched left arm suggests the same resistance shown by a beheaded victim at Abu Salim trauma hospital a couple miles north in the same couple days. (new graphic forthcoming). 

#14: Dragged in head-first by the elbows, frozen that way. There's a bullet hole in the left side of his forehead. (see VSN, 1:04) This looks more like individual execution than the described shed massacre. 


#17: Previously taken as two bodies (15 and 16) piled together, one beheaded, I now think it's just one body.

#34: Here's another body of interest, a gory one. I think victim #34 along the north wall was killed - with guns and grenades on-site, right there. Or at least, his body was so attacked right there. This is a detail of a Shawn Baldwin photo, SB8 as listed here. (See also BL11)

Feel free to shoot me down, but this does not look like anyone hit by random grenades lobbed from the doors while trying to escape. Nor someone dragged out and back in by soldiers, nor simply planted therefrom elsewhere by anyone. Medium size will do.  
I suspect the head part was done first. Already laying in this position, pinned down, bound, or dead, a powerful gun was fired through the roof of his mouth. His skull might have been more intact, but fractured, before the fire loosened it like this. Maybe it all came off at once. His blood and brains were slapped against the wall, leaving perhaps that little "tongue" at lower left... Then I see his torso torn open by a grenade, possibly stuffed into a wound. The tissue of whole left torso was thus slapped against the wall as we see here, and blood sprayed upward onto the wall. 

Perhaps the order of those operations was different. And a bit of that is apparently from the smoke. This one's less burnt than usual. Sorry.

That's one case of grenade-expanded ribs I can suddenly see. Otherwise, I was inclined to call the burst ribs an effect of fire, curling the bodies backwards. I see plenty of that in the other bodies, including 34, and no good reason (yet) to expect any other besides this one was so attacked.

Some others I've suspected of possible on-site execution are #37 and 38, also along the back wall. Smaller black stains mar the walls behind their heads and shoulders, like a shadow. These could be smoke stains, but require an odd "teapot effect" (which seems possible - up to a point). They don't have the usual vertical wafting quality other smoke stains do (consider the wall next to body 26). Blood stains charred black? Cinderized brain stains of from a post-burning gunshot execution? 

See: SM6 SM15 DB4

Khamis Brigade Shed Massacre: Charred Victims Imagery

January 10, 2011
(incomplete, last edits March 19)


Note March 19: the body layout has been changed, and the numbers below have been updated. For reference - rough body arrangement and numbers now -letters equal partial remains, possible bodies/piles of, or unclear areas.

Photographs
All links are to external files, usually the originals. Resolution is generally okay, not high, but useful enough in combination. Tight (close) views usually show one body, wide (far) usually show several and helps show the general scene. Mid-wide or mid-tight are between, showing a couple of bodies.

AP: Assoc.Press, unattributed
AP1 - middle of room, decent resolution

BD: Bryan Denton, New York Times
BD1 - towards the doors, wide, focuse on east side. Great resolution, not too much contrast, a useful view for the SE corner.

BL: Benjamin Lowy
Personal site
BL1 - southeast corner, shaft of light.
BL2 - washed-out pile, little value
BL3 - robed man in the doorway, harsh light
BL4 - Time, Aug 27 - mid-wide, split chest, smashed head.
BL5 - Foreign Policy, robed men look over smoldering bones. Fascinating texture. Made the cover of PHR's report.
Getty Images, Aug. 27
BL6 - Same men, different view, looking east.
BL7 - Mid-wide, central pile
BL7 - central pile, looking west, great view

BL8 - Man (K.K. Khebir?) amid bodies, looking east.
BL9 - Mid-tight, great view of bodies 14 and 17
BL10 - southwest corner, wide
BL11 - mid-wide view, along the wall

BW: Saad Basir, Warscapes
One relevant picture with this article
SB1 - pile near the door, mid-tight, odd wide angle view

DB: Daniel Berehulak/Getty
(DB1-DB6 from Zimbio images, all Aug. 26)
DB1 - Wide, inside towards doors, doors opened a crack
DB2 - Close, fractured skull, splayed rib cage, app. body 21
DB3 - Wide, various bodies.
DB4 - Tight, along back wall - bodies 34/35, "j", and #37 in some detail.
DB5 - Tight, body #19
DB6 - Mid-tight, body #16
Other Sources
DB7 - August 28. Wide, bodies nearest the doors, in good lighting. Deep, dark blue stain on the ground in the distance, between the head of body #8 and where #9's would be, and the canister near the door. This comes through in other images, but clearest here. What is that?

DR: David Bruser, CBC
DR1 - wide, looking northeast, bodies 16-21. Useful angle for #16.

EP: EPA/BGNES
EP1 - Aug 28, east wall, good light, decent detail

FP: AFP/Getty, unattributed
FP1 - Great view across bodies 17 and 14 looking southwest

JO: Jeroen Oerlemans/Panos Pictures /Felix Features
August 28, catalogued here at Felix Features.
JO1 - Mid-wide, east wall, bodies 27-30
JO2 Tight view of body #28
JO3 - no burned bodies... Shed door and locks signifigance
JO4 - no burned bodies... Outside massacre victims significance

LL: Louafi Larbi, Getty Images
LL1 - Main room looking north, wide, very high resolution. Fighter in candy-cane-striped shirt.
LL2 - Central pile, high angle, mid-tight
Others collected with those two at this page
LL3 - another fighter steps over/on bodies
LL4 -interesting view of the west wall, bodies 5 and 6.
LL5 - doesn't show charred victims, but I want to catalogued for other reasons

PB: Patrick Baz, AFP/Getty
PB1
PB2
PB3 - great view of bodies 5 and 6
PB4
PB5

RG: Rowan Griffiths/Daily Mirror
RG1 - wide, west side, looking north

RH: Ron Haviv/VII, picturemaxx
RH1 - robed men by door, facing east
RH2 - wide, looking east
RH3 - wide, looking north
RH4 - wide, northwest corner
RH5 - artful, if not so useful
RH6 - same
RH7 - mid-tight, central pile, looking down.
RH8 - mid-tight, central pile, nearest door, some detail
RH9 - Same, different angle

RW: Human Rights Watch
These have great resolution, but there are only two.
RW1 Tight, low-angle, extremely fractured skull, from top. Body#8.
RW2 Main pile from southwest corner, low angle, looking extremely jumbled.

SB: Shawn Baldwin, Corbis Images
Catalogued in context at this Corbis page, All Shawn Baldwin, all August 28.
SB1 Tight
SB2 Tight view on body #8
SB3 Tight, body #19
SB4 Mid-tight, body #16 and surroundings, looking northwest
SB5 - same as SB4 but a bit higher
SB6 - Mid-tight, body #19
SB7 - Same as SB4/SB5 but better detail on body 16
SB8 - #34, back wall, detail on flayed flesh, missing lower legs, top of skull laying nearby.
SB9 - wide view, looking northwest - most bodies from 8-21 visible
SB10 - mid-tight, 18, 21, 23
SB11 - Wide, from body 19 looking SW over central pile
SB12 Body 19 and central pile, from the west
SB13 - wide view across bodies 16-8
SB14 - unusual view, mid-tight, bodies 25 and 26 amid minor rubble
SB15 - Tight, body #21, detail on upper skull
SB16 - bodies 26, 27, 28 and body/tissue h.
SB17 - "h" and bodies 27-29
SB18 - east wall, bodies 27-34 visible
SB19 - wide view, main pile looking west. Body 13 only stands out.
SB20 - wide, central pile, high view looking down

SM: Seamus Murphy/VII, picturemaxx
SM1 - Wide, men stepping over bodies, looking east
SM2 - Tight, detailed view of #28, flesh-crusted skull and jagged ribs
SM3 - Tight, body #8 from above
SM4 - Tight, body #37
SM5 - Tight, body #20, from above
SM6 - Mid-wide, along back wall, looking west: rigid-headed bodies 37 and 38.
SM7 -  Tight, bodies 19 and 17, from above
SM8 - Tight, body #19
SM9 - Wide, looking towards doors, central pile visible, high glare.
SM10 - Wide, looking east, unobstructed. Very useful view for SE corner.
SM11 - Tight, a body on its side
SM12 - Wide, from door, central pile looking northeast
SM13 - Wide, from door, looking north
Better, non-stamped versions of some:
SM14 main pile, towards doors, bright light, useful angle
SM15 rigid head victim along back wall
SM16 Men stepping over bodies, looking east. "A survivor of the massacre is comforted inside the barn after finding the charred remains of his brother."
More smaller ones:
SM17 - mid-tight along east wall
SM18 - along west wall, good view of bodies 2-5 and the head of #6.
SM19 - Tight, #37, looking west
SM20 - same view as SM12 and SM13, slightly closer

SP: Sergey Ponomarev/Associated Press
SP1 -
SP2 -

WD: William Daniels/Panos Pictures /Felix Features
August 27, catalogued here at Felix Features.
WD1 - central pile, from the west, towards the doors. Messed-up ribs lower left is what I called body #23 - see WD2.
WD2 - very useful view of an ambiguous spot. Mid-tight on bodies 21, 22, 23, 24.
WD3 - west wall, #27, 28, 29, and "h"

YK: Yuri Kozyrev, Noor/Time
YK1 - West side, looking north
YK2 - robed men by doors

Videos
VAB -ABC News Aug. 29
emptied shed, only bits of charred flesh, smaller bones, and ash remain scattered about.

VAF - AljwharFreeMedia17 (amateur video)
Youtube
Unusual and helpful views: bodies 1 and 2, #7, northeast corner, bodies 31-33

VBC - BBC, Orla Guerin, Aug 28,
BBC site - Youtube
Glimpses only

VC4 - Channel 4, Alex Thomson, Aug.28
Youtube
segment starts 4:00
good pan across the main room

VCB - CBC, Susan Ormiston, Aug. 28.
MSN video
Good pans all around the shed, decent resolution.

VCN - CNN, DailyMotion
Aug. 28 footage, later afternoon.
0:29 shows southwest corner being cleared.

VEN - EuroNews
victim #1 0:13, others less charred right after - one one right, hands bound behind back?

VGP - Global Post
Video a ways down the page. Some footage borrowed from RT Arabic (below) at first, but some unique views inside the shed (0:30-0:55) plus an awesome "Dr. Salim" interview."

VRT - Russia Today Arabic, Posted by Quatchi Canada, August 28. As Felix notes, it's filmed in the morning.
Interesting "collar" at 0:12


VSN - Sky News, Aug.27
Early broadcast, Dr.Salim and outside only (link for reference, no skeletons or interior shots shown)
Main broadcast: Sky site
pans all around, good resolution.
Only known footage of body #11, at least in that position.

VTE - TVE1 (Spain)
Los rebeldes aseguran controlar el 95% de Trípoli y la frontera con Túnez
Posted August 27

VTH - Telegraph, Aug. 28
Telegraph site

VTS - TeleSur video
Encuentran 50 cuerpos calcinados en Trípoli
side chamber 0:08

VVA - Viva Algier New (amateur video)
Youtube
Footage inside first minute, low resolution
It was also uploaded, as Felix alerts me, the same day, with a slightly different title, ناجون من مذبحة معسكر اليرموك يروون تفاصيل المجزرة by ZlitenHorra: Survivors of the massacre of the Yarmouk camp telling details of the massacre.