The above photo is from Human Rights Watch website. Unfortunately, the HRW post does not show the victims before being arranged and covered. Photos of mass graves and corpse of Gaddafi supporters are difficult if not impossible to get from areas controlled by rebels.
HRI is an evidence-based, independent and rigorous investigator of human rights abuses. HRI is totally different from HRW. HRI investigated and published on its website a number objective and thorough human rights reports on the crimes committed in Libya by the Islamists rebels against prisoners of war, African workers, and Libyan civilians. These horrific atrocities were executed with direct military and political support and directions from Obama and his NATO mercenaries which included: Sarkozy; Cameron; and Al-Thani (of Qatar). These persons and states must be brought to national and international justice and pay for their horrendous crimes.
The main reports are:
[The rebels, described in NATO circles as a ‘proxy army” were allowed by NATO to indiscriminately shell the town with tank fire, heavy mortar fire and artillery. Here is some footage from the ‘Information Office of the Misrata Mujahid Battalion’ to illustrate the point]
[In what should be the final death-blow to the notion that NATO air power combined with undisciplined and in some cases genocidal mobs supplied with NATO weaponry on the ground can effectively ‘protect’ a civilian population it has become clear that fifty-three people were summarily executed by the rebels in the garden of the Mahari hotel in Sirte. ]
[Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi was reportedly captured and shot dead 20 October. As the evidence below shows the Libyan leader and his son Mutassim were summarily executed by the rebels, sharing the fate of so many Libyans in this conflict.]
[Muammar’s son, Mutassim Gaddafi was captured at the same time as his father and video shows him still alive after capture, drinking water and smoking a cigarette]
[On the death of Mutassim the Mahmoud Jibril said: “As for Mutassim there is a wound in the head and a break in the skull and five bullets in the back and one in the neck.”]
[The horrific video below shows a 1 minute slice of the horror visited upon Sirte, where little children are being mutilated, killed and Libya’s future destroyed in the interests of the war-mongers, the egos of NATO leaders, the profits of arms companies and improved access to Libyan resources.
The footage from Ibn Sina hospital in Sirte is an indictment of the western political class, wedded to militarism and war, funded by arms companies, protected by a war-mongering media and oblivious to the consequences of their policies. Indeed, this video was filmed hot on the heels of Sarkozy and Cameron celebrating the rebel ‘victory’ in Benghazi at the site of the lynchings of black men in that city.]
[As is now well documented, the rebellion in Libya began with violent attacks on police stations, such as this one in Al-Bayda where people locked inside were reportedly burnt to death. An intensive propaganda campaign systematically distorted the facts on the ground, including in particular allegations that the Libyan air force was bombing peaceful protestors and that Libyan soldiers were being massacred for not shooting on unarmed protestors (since proven to have been a false flag operation). This propaganda allowed a mobilization of the international community and the passing of UN Resolution 1973 which imposed the No-Fly Zone.]
[In a June 21 article in the Wall Street Journal, Sam Dagher described Tawergha as a town inhabited mostly by black Libyans, a legacy of its 19th-century origins as a transit town in the slave trade. He quoted one of the rebel commanders from the rebel Misrata brigade: Ibrahim al-Halbous, a rebel commander leading the fight near Tawergha, says all remaining residents should leave once if his fighters capture the town. “They should pack up,” Mr. Halbous said. “Tawergha no longer exists, only Misrata.”]
[An important part of any genocide is the demonisation and dehumanisation of the victims and this continues to be the case for the Tawergha. As part of the information war NATO and the rebels have described all loyalist black fighters, guest workers from sub-Saharan Africa and even black skinned inhabitants of Libya as ‘mercenaries’]
[Some of the hatred of Tawergha has racist overtones that were mostly latent before the current conflict. On the road between Misrata and Tawergha, rebel slogans like “the brigade for purging slaves, black skin” have supplanted pro-Gadhafi scrawl.] [“The Misrata people are still looking for black people,” said Hassan, a Tawergha resident who’s now sheltering in a third camp in Janzour, six miles east of Tripoli. “One of the men who came to this camp told me my brother was killed yesterday by the revolutionaries.”]
[Most homes and buildings in the area appeared to have been damaged in the fighting, and a half-dozen appeared to have been ransacked. The main road into the village was blocked with earthen berms. Signs marking the way to the village appeared to have been destroyed. On the only sign remaining “Tawergha” had been painted over with the words “New Misrata.” On one wall in Tawergha, graffiti referred to the town’s residents as “abeed,” a slur for blacks (slaves).]
[On Saturday 17th September, as reported by Al Jazeera, Ahmed Bani, the interim government’s military spokesman, said gave army personnel still loyal to Gaddafi a last chance to join the ranks of former rebel fighters: “The soldiers and officers who will not heed this last call will be accused of high treason.”
The invocation of high treason in civil war (“non-international armed conflict”) situations is a highly disreputable maneuver designed to deny any legal obligations to adversaries due under international humanitarian law and the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Additional Protocols of 1977.]
[According to NATO’s own figures, Sirte has been bombed with 340 “key hits” from 25th August to 16th September.] [Moussa Ibrahim, in a call from a satellite phone to Reuter’s office in Tunis on Saturday 17th September, said: “NATO attacked the city of Sirte last night with more than 30 rockets directed at the city’s main hotel and the Tamin building, which consists of more than 90 residential flats. “The result is more than 354 dead and 89 still missing and almost 700 injured in one night.” “In the last 17 days more than 2,000 residents of the city of Sirte were killed in NATO air strikes.”]
[Some important reactions to the ethnic cleansing of Tawergha – The San Francisco BayView has followed up on the reporting of the Wall Street Journal, the Black Star News and Human Rights Investigations on the ethnic cleansing of Tawergha with an article entitled: Libya: Tawergha, city of Blacks, depopulated – Rep. Jesse Jackson calls for investigation of ‘crimes against humanity’.
A Black Star News report follows the remarks made by NTC Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril, giving the seal of approval to the ethnic cleansing. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr, who served as a national co-chairman of the 2008 Obama election campaign and who is a civil rights activist and stated on Wednesday: “Racism in the form of ethnic cleansing, killing and genocide is wrong anytime, anyplace and against anybody in the world. And it appears as though the rebel leader, Mahmoud Jibril, is using the American idea that the South used to protect the institution of slavery – the 10th Amendment in our Constitution – to say, in essence, ‘it’s a states’ right and local control issue.’” “Well, it’s not a local issue and it’s a moral outrage,” he added.]
[The final chapter is now being written for Tawargha, as reported by Sam Dagher of the Wall Street Journal. Mahmoud Jibril, the NTC prime minister, rubber-stamped the wiping of the town off the map at the Misrata town hall: “Regarding Tawergha, my own viewpoint is that nobody has the right to interfere in this matter except the people of Misrata.” “This matter can’t be tackled through theories and textbook examples of national reconciliation like those in South Africa, Ireland and Eastern Europe,” he added as the crowd cheered with chants of “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is greatest.”
The WSJ goes on to report: Now, rebels have been torching homes in the abandoned city 25 miles to the south. Since Thursday, The Wall Street Journal has witnessed the burning of more than a dozen homes in the city Col. Gadhafi once lavished with money and investment. On the gates of many vandalized homes in the country’s only coastal city dominated by dark-skinned people, light-skinned rebels scrawled the words “slaves” and “negroes.” “We are setting it on fire to prevent anyone from living here again,” said one rebel fighter as flames engulfed several loyalist homes. For the former residents this is still not the end of the story, as reported recently by human rights workers in Tripoli, male inhabitants of the town who fled are being tracked down and rounded up in Tripoli and sent to Misrata to face the tender mercies of the mob there.]
[As our regular readers will be aware, we have been reporting on the fate of the people of Tawergha since the local rebel commander Ibrahim al-Halbous, said he was going to wipe the town off the map. We reported the storming of the town, with NATO support, and the extremely worrying reports of prisoners in shipping crates and the people of the town being “handed over to the red cross,” which they weren’t (see ‘Tawergha no longer exists, only Misrata’).
We relayed the reports from Diana Eltahawy of Amnesty International about the inhabitants who managed to flee being persecuted in Tripoli. Andrew Gilligan, a reporter from The Sunday Telegraph, now reports from Tawergha: This pro-Gaddafi settlement has been emptied of its people, vandalised and partly burned by rebel forces. The Sunday Telegraph was the first to visit the scene of what appears to be the first major reprisal against supporters of the former regime.
“We gave them thirty days to leave,” said Abdul el-Mutalib Fatateth, the officer in charge of the rebel garrison in Tawarga, as his soldiers played table-football outside one of the empty apartment blocks. “We said if they didn’t go, they would be conquered and imprisoned. Every single one of them has left, and we will never allow them to come back.”
Andrew Gillighan is a serious reporter and he even mentions the racial context: And as so often in Libya, there is also a racist undercurrent. Many Tawargas, though neither immigrants nor Gaddafi’s much-ballyhooed African mercenaries, are descended from slaves, and are darker than most Libyans. Along the road that leads into Tawargha, the Misurata Brigade has painted a slogan. It says, “the brigade for purging slaves [and] black skin.”.
We have to say, the racist element is more than an undercurrent, but if more journalists had reported the truth rather than turning a blind eye, refusing to report or to investigate then perhaps lives could still be saved.
In this context we should just mention the ”reporting” of so-called journalists such as Chris Stephen who has been in Misrata for weeks writing pro-war, pro-NATO propaganda for the benefit of the Guardian’s readership and failing miserably to report on the racist atrocities and ethnic cleansing.]
[Hundreds of African workers are stuck in various locations including about 1,000 at the military port of Sidi Bilal six miles west of Tripoli, fearing for their lives, with little water and limited provisions. This situation has been going on for weeks, with the ICRC finally delivering some water on 5 September.
Macclatchy’ David Enders reports: The rebels who ring the camp suddenly open fire. Then they race into the camp, shouting “gabbour, gabbour” — Arabic for whore — and haul away young women, residents say. “You should be here in the evening, when they come in firing their guns and taking people,” one woman from Nigeria said Wednesday as she recounted the nightly raids on the camp. “They don’t use condoms, they use whatever they can find,” she said, pointing to a discarded plastic bag in a pile of trash. As she spoke, other women standing nearby nodded in agreement.
One of the women describes the feelings of the inhabitants of the camp: Stacey Alexandra, 26, who said she had spent the last three years in Libya cleaning private homes and hotels and sending money back to family in Cameroon. “Now everyone here wants to leave. This country is too racist.”
David Enders reports further: There is no way to know how many women have been raped here, where hundreds of Africans have settled in and around the boats of a marina. No one keeps statistics in the camp, and foreign aid workers say they are prohibited from discussing the allegations on the record. [Our emphasis] International Red Cross representatives say only that they have spoken to rebel leaders about “security concerns.”]
[Now Amnesty International’s Diana Elthaway reports that the 10,000s of Tawarghans who have fled to Tripoli (and other dark-skinned-Libyans) are facing continuing persecution from the Misratan rebels who have now caught up with them in the capital. One lady from Tawargha describes how the townsfolk fled: “When the thuwwar (revolutionists) entered our town in mid-Ramadan [mid-August] and shelled it, we fled just carrying the clothes on our backs. I don’t know what happened to our homes and belongings. Now I am here in this camp, my son is ill and I am too afraid to go to the hospital in town. I don’t know what will happen to us now.”]
[The evidence suggests that Tawarghas are fearful of going outside, cannot return home and have been abused, detained (even whilst in hospital) and gone missing] [Even in the refugee camps, the Tawarghas are not safe. Towards the end of last month, a group of armed men drove into the camp and arrested about 14 men – and their relatives do not know of their fate. Amnesty also report that “in addition to Tawarghas, other black Libyans including from the central Sabha district as well as sub-Saharan Africans continue to be at particular risk of reprisals and arbitrary arrests, on account of their skin colour and widespread reports that al-Gaddafi forces used “African mercenaries” to repress supporters of the NTC.”]
[Even in the refugee camps, the Tawarghas are not safe. Towards the end of last month, a group of armed men drove into the camp and arrested about 14 men – and their relatives do not know of their fate. Amnesty also report that “in addition to Tawarghas, other black Libyans including from the central Sabha district as well as sub-Saharan Africans continue to be at particular risk of reprisals and arbitrary arrests, on account of their skin colour and widespread reports that al-Gaddafi forces used “African mercenaries” to repress supporters of the NTC.”]
[Sabha is mainly inhabited by Libyans of mixed and black African descent and the population is temporarily safe from being massacred by the hostile rebels from Misrata or from the Western Mountains due to its geographical remoteness as the routes to Sabha traverse large expanses of barren and desert landscape, although there is a medalled road which the rebels will no doubt be travelling down once they have dealt with the conundrum of Bani Walid. As well as the native inhabitants, more than 1,200 African migrants are stranded in the town according to the International Organization for Migration.]
[Senator McCain R-Arizona the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, was quickly off the mark to Benghazi in April to give political support to the rebels. And here is footage of the rebel lynching which took place before Senator McCain’s visit, at the same location. WARNING VERY GRAPHIC VIDEO. The video shows a man being strung up and beheaded. In Benghazi, McCain attracted a crowd so enthusiastic that at one point he joked, “I’ve got to bring you to Arizona.” He called on President Obama to recognize the rebel government, provide more air support like AC130 anti-tank and A10 ground support aircraft, get anti-tank weapons into rebel hands, train rebels on target marking technology and give the them satellite phones to aid communication.]
[HRW is one of the members of the “Responsibility to Protect coalition” and has been slow to condemn the racist atrocities of the Libyan rebellion and has little to say about the bombing of civilians by NATO in places like Zlitan. HRW is not to be confused with Human Rights Investigations (HRI) which opposes the NATO bombing, supporting the African Union position on Libya and has worked to expose the racial element to the conflict. The HRW article contains evidence of black Libyans and sub-Saharan guest workers being abused in Tripoli, which have already been widely reported, as well as hopes for an “embryonic legal system” in Tripoli.]
[HRW witnessed black men being taken into the Bab al-Bahr football club – but weren’t allowed by the commander to see what was happening inside. The commander claimed the detainees were all “foreign fighters” but their families were outside complaining and the four they were allowed to interview who were apparently being released were elderly Libyans.
HRW also found black people – a mixture of black Libyans and sub-Saharan Africans – detained in other places around Tripoli including the Maftuah prison in the Fernaj neighborhood, (300 detainees on September 1 including wounded). In this prison HRW described the conditions for Libyan detainees as acceptable, but “the sub-Saharan Africans were in overcrowded cells with a putrid stench; one cell had 26 people and six mattresses and the African men complained of inadequate water, poor sanitation and not being allowed to make phone calls to ask family members to bring their documents.” At a school in the Intisar neighborhood, 76 detainees including 3 women were found on September 1. About half of the detainees appeared to be sub-Saharan Africans, the remainder being Libyans accused of having fought for Gaddafi. HRW saw the prisoners being prepared for transfer to the Mitiga air base.]
[Human Rights Investigations has been repeatedly warning about the Libyan rebels and it has become increasingly clear that racism lies at the very heart of the conflict in Libya. It now clear that the rebel forces are NATO (and Qatar and UAE)’s proxy fighters on the ground. Many of these fighters have been recruited and motivated on the basis of psy-ops about African mercenaries, fired up by viagra, mass-raping women and pillaging their cities – discredited stories which have been spread and amplified by rebel commanders, NATO ministers, the media and ICC prosecutor Moreno Ocampo.
The effects of this pernicious propaganda campaign have been seen in Benghazi, Misrata and Tawergha and across the nation and are now being seen on the streets of Tripoli as rebels round up black-skinned Libyans and African guest workers, putting them into football stadiums.]
[Racism lies at the heart of many of the NATO campaigns, including in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq where innocents are slaughtered in a way that simply would not be accepted if the victims were white.] [To appreciate the importance of racism in motivating soldiers please listen to Mike Prysner’s speech made at the 2008 Winter Soldier hearings: video]
[Amnesty today report on the killing of black and dark-skinned people in Libya after Amnesty workers personally see them targetted in Tripoli. The article clearly recognises this is part of a bigger pattern: An Amnesty delegation visiting the Central Tripoli Hospital on Monday witnessed three thuwwar revolutionaries (as the opposition fighters are commonly known) dragging a black patient from the western town of Tawargha from his bed and detaining him. The men were in civilian clothing.]
[From the start of the Libyan rebellion black people in Libya have been attacked and lynched by rebel mobs. This has been known by human rights groups and the United Nations as well as by the intelligence agencies, military forces, media and political leaders in the NATO countries – but they have generally kept a lid on it because it does not suit the narrative.]
[NATO backed rebels storm the district of Abu Salim. Black men are rounded up and forced to chant rebel slogans.] [AL Jazeera reports from the Abu Salim hospital where according to Kim Sengupta of The Independent rebels executed patients.] [“Come and see. These are blacks, Africans, hired by Gaddafi, mercenaries,” shouted Ahmed Bin Sabri, lifting the tent flap to show the body of one dead patient, his grey T-shirt stained dark red with blood, the saline pipe running into his arm black with flies. Why had an injured man receiving treatment been executed? Mr Sabri, more a camp follower than a fighter, shrugged. It was seemingly incomprehensible to him that anything wrong had been done.]
[Unfortunately, most of the media, with a few honorable exceptions, has chosen to downplay or totally ignore the attacks on black people in the city, derided any possibility of a peaceful solution and focused entirely on massacres allegedly committed by the western-trained (link to new wikileaks cable) Libyan army.
30 August: More honest reporting from Patrick Coburn in The Independent: But the Libyan rebels are hostile to black Africans in general. One of the militiamen, who have been in control of the police station since the police fled, said simply: “Libyan people don’t like people with dark skins, though some of them may be innocent.”]
[UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres has issued a strong call for sub-Saharan Africans to be protected in Libya as reports emerge from Tripoli of people being targeted because of their colour as the city fell to rebel forces.] [The High Commissioner has urged restraint from rebel forces and Libyan civilians. “We have seen at earlier stages in this crisis that such people, Africans especially, can be particularly vulnerable to hostility or acts of vengeance,” he said. “It is crucial that humanitarian law prevails through these climactic moments and those foreigners – including refugees and migrant workers – are being fully and properly protected from harm,” he stressed.]
[NATO has been described as the rebel air force, but it is more accurate to describe the rebels as NATO’s ground forces. The National Transitional Council has little independence and NATO controls the rebel ground forces, arms them, trains them, provides advisers, provides massive fire support and decides on strategy. NATO controls the air and sea and little moves on the ground without NATO’s permission.]
[Sarkozy, Cameron and Obama and the NATO high command share the belief in the efficacy of violence combined with vigorous prosecution of the information war is the best way forward. NATO, of course, has no interest in fulfilling UN Security Council Resolution 1973 which established the no fly zone and mandate to protect civilians with “the aim of facilitating dialogue to lead to the political reforms necessary to find a peaceful and sustainable solution”]
[In making their decision the western leaders would have been encouraged by the enthusiastic participation of the western media in producing pro-war propaganda, who faithfully and uncritically report information provided by NATO, government spokespeople and intelligence sources. Anything which may seriously threaten the pro-war narrative is either not reported or downplayed (e.g. rebel atrocities, ethnic cleansing of Misrata and Tawergha, RAF massacre in Zlitan, peace initiatives, support for Gadhafi regime from Libyan people).
Support for Admiral Stavridis’ information war was also provided by ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo who has been a very enthusiastic participant in NATO psy-ops.
In any case, in an attack coordinated by NATO, rebels from the Western Mountains entered Tripoli from the west and ships delivered fighters from Misrata, fresh from ethnically cleansing Tawergha, into the city. NATO airstrikes were launched against the residential area of Abu Salim.]
[One of the main problems for mainstream journalists is that they see what they want to see and ignore what doesn’t fit into the narrative provided to them by their most trusted sources – the government officials and intelligence agencies of the western powers. Stories which don’t fit the narrative are ignored or downplayed – for instance the RAF bombing of Zlitan, the lynching of black people including at rebel HQ in Benghazi, the ethnic cleansing in Misrata and Tawergha.
The cumulative effect of looking the wrong way, pursuing a narrative at odds with reality, lazily repeating government spin (propaganda) is a profound ignorance of actual reality and this clip of BBC news anchors illustrates the point.
Bill Turnbull says: “Let’s take you live to Tripoli. We want to show you some pictures there. This is people in Tripoli, in the center. I think its Green Square, renamed Martyr’s Square…” Kate Silverton says: “Officially I suppose still Green Square, but renamed by those, but as you can see a mass, a huge throng of people now turning out.” The magnificent duo fails to explain why the people of Tripoli are waving Indian flags. Of course other channels have made similar mistakes – e.g. Fox and Sky showing people celebrating in Benghazi whilst claiming they are in Tripoli.
BBC and Al Jazeera have been showing terrified black men being rounded up on their news. As they have consistently avoided reporting on racist atrocities in Libya they cannot provide any context to this and repeat rebel claims they are “mercenaries.” In other words the BBC is uncritically justifying a racist pogrom.]
[Video evidence has emerged. This is highly disturbing footage and shows body parts and dead children as well as the grief and anger of the survivors and relatives of the dead in the immediate aftermath and at the hospital. It is clear that those helping survivors of the first strike were hit by the second and third strikes.] [Responsibility for the bombing of a civilian area at night and the inevitable civilian causalities lies with the military leadership of NATO including Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard and Admiral Stavridis and on the political leadership including William Hague and David Cameron who must have given the go-ahead to attacks of this nature.]
[Unfortunately, the mainstream media has not been giving any context to the battle for Tawergha, so most viewers will be entirely ignorant of the significance of this event. Rebel forces from Misrata, including one of their commanders, have long threatened to wipe Tawergha off the map, ethnically cleansing its inhabitants. The report from AL Jazeera shows at least one of the large residential blocks in Tawergha alight, prisoners packed inside a freight container (who the rebels didn’t want filmed), an injured man in civilian clothes and the rebel fighters evicting one of the last civilian left in the town (an Egyptian woman who has lost her 9 children under 12 who ran away during the attack.]
[The apparent fall of Tawergha was also reported by Orla Guerin of the BBC who also, disgracefully, failed to give the ethnic cleansing context despite actually interviewing Ibrahim al-Halbous, the very commander of whom the Wall Street Journal reported: Ibrahim al-Halbous, a rebel commander leading the fight near Tawergha, says all remaining residents should leave once if his fighters capture the town. “They should pack up,” Mr. Halbous said. “Tawergha no longer exists, only Misrata.”]
About Human Rights Investigations (HRI)
HRI was set up to answer the need for objective and thorough human rights investigations.
1- Internationalist and anti-racist
2- Empowering the poor and oppressed
3- Working for non-violent solutions to conflicts, social and political problems
4- Investigating human rights abuses which have not been brought to the public’s attention
5- Working collaboratively with like-minded organisations and individuals
6- Specializing in painstaking discovery procedures and dispassionate evaluation of information against a framework of international law
HRI aims to:
1- Identify perpetrators and protect victims
2- Establish the chain of accountability
3- Identify the vehicles to deliver justice and redress to the victims
4- Influence positive change in laws and practice
5- Draw attention to serious violations and accountability gaps
6- Mobilize action nationally and internationally to grant justice to victims
The ultimate goal of our work is preventing abuses or, at a minimum, mitigating and stopping violations when they do occur.