Fifty-three pro-Gadhafi individuals were executed at a hotel in the Libyan town of Sirte last week, according to Human Rights Watch. At the time of the killings, the hotel was in an area under the control of National Transitional Council (NTC) fighters from Misrata.
“We found 53 decomposing bodies, apparently Gaddafi supporters, at an abandoned hotel in Sirte, and some had their hands bound behind their backs when they were shot,” said Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director at Human Rights Watch, who investigated the killings. “This requires the immediate attention of the Libyan authorities to investigate what happened and hold accountable those responsible.”
Some of the decomposing bodies had their hands tied behind their backs and others had bandaged wounds, suggesting they had been treated for other injuries before being put to death.
Before the dust settled from Gadhafi’s death and celebrations from Western leaders had calmed, news of war crimes committed by the US-backed NTC began to surface yet again. Word of the massacre of 53 individuals by NTC fighters came after it was revealed that Gadhafi had been captured, beaten, and executed instead of “caught in the crossfire” as NTC leaders had claimed.
In addition, NTC forces have approximately 7,000 prisoners of war detained in makeshift jails where they have been neglected for weeks, facing serious abuse and torture, without ever being charged. Unfortunately, this is not the first time the NTC fighters have been accused of extrajudicial killing, illegal detentions, and torture.
There have been some minor calls for investigations into these crimes by the NTC, but none purport to implicate their American and European counterparts who facilitated their rebellion and rise to power.