Libyan rebels beat and executed dozens of supporters of former strongman Muammar Gadhafi after he was killed in last year’s civil war, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Wednesday.
The rights group said there was evidence that a Misrata-based militia was behind the extrajudicial killings of “dozens of detainees” after Gadhafi was killed around one year ago.
“Misrata-based militias captured and disarmed members of the Gadhafi convoy and, after bringing them under their total control, subjected them to brutal beatings,” HRW said.
At least 66 captured members of the pro-Gadhafi convoy, including the dictator’s son Mutassim, were slain in the incident.
Under international law, it is a war crime to execute captured combatants.
The New York-based rights organization urged the Libyan government to investigate the killings and other alleged war crimes carried out by militias that often act in Libya without impunity.
“One of Libya’s greatest challenges is to bring its well-armed militias under control and end their abuses,” stated Peter Bouckaert, director at HRW.
“A good first step would be to investigate the mass executions of October 20, 2011, the most serious abuse by opposition forces documented so far,” Bouckaert added.
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