UN Fears Growing Human Rights Violations in NTC’s Libya

Officials Say 7,000 Held in 'Makeshift' Prisons

A grim new report from UN Special Envoy to Libya Ian Martin has added to the growing concerns about the National Transitional Council’s (NTC’s) expanding hold over the country, and an unstable situation which officials say is open to massive abuse.

Earlier this week Amnesty International detailed the widespread torture inside the NTC-run “makeshift prisons” being set up across the West, warning over 2,500 were being held. The UN’s reports, will confirming the grim treatment, say that as many as 7,000 are actually being held.

The UN Human Rights Office warns that the NTC is doing little about screening or registering the detainees, with 67 facilities full of “suspected mercenaries,” the NTC euphemism for black people, as well as people whose names appeared on a list the NTC drafted of people to be rounded up after Western Libya was captured.

Held without charges, without access to any legal system, and guarded by former rebels hungry for revenge, the detainees are subjected to regular beatings. The guards were very open about the beatings when talking to human rights groups, saying they were a way of more quickly obtaining “confessions” from the captives.

With myriad factions fighting and the new regime showing no more respect for human rights than the last one, post-Gadhafi Libya is shaping up to be a very dangerous place. That danger is unlikely to remain confined to Libya, either, with the massive number of missing missiles becoming a focus for terrorist groups hoping to secure more advanced equipment.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.