Amnesty: NATO Still Failing to Investigate Libyan Civilian Deaths

Urges Full Investigations, Punishment of Those Responsible for War Crimes

Amnesty International has become the latest in a long line of organizations taking NATO to task for its civilian killings in Libya’s 2011 civil war. Or rather, Amnesty is faulting NATO for its refusal to conduct investigations into those killings.

NATO officials repeatedly stressed their commitment to protecting civilians,” the statement said, “they cannot now brush aside the deaths of scores of civilians with some vague statement of regret.”

NATO initially claimed that not a single civilian was killed in their air strikes, but after a UN investigation uncovered 60 civilians killed, and also lashed NATO for refusing to cooperate with the probe, NATO did eventually cop to the killings of 55 of them.

In its admission, NATO simply confirmed the killings and expressed “regret” but provided no evidence that the targets were military in nature and openly shrugged off the idea of a probe, saying that the UN mandate had expired and that would prevent it from carrying out “any activities” related to the Libya war. Amnesty urged NATO to carry out full investigations, and to punish anyone who was found guilty of violations of international law.

Meanwhile, new reports on the pair of British journalists held hostage for a month by US-backed militia forces show that the pair had been reporting on that militia’s revenge attacks on black Libyans. Considerable violence was carried out in the wake the NATO-backed regime change against blacks in Libya, who were accused of being uniformly in league with the Gadhafi regime. This included the complete destruction of the town of Tawargha by Misratan forces, and the ghost town’s replacement with a sign that says “New Misrata.”

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.