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Dublin Opinion >>
Libya: Apparent Execution of 53 Gaddafi Supporters
Bodies Found at Sirte Hotel Used by Anti-Gaddafi Fighters
HRW reveal that Gaddafi supporters were subject to mas execution after surrendering. Ful story at link.
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. This requires the immediate attention of the Libyan authorities to investigate what happened and hold accountable those responsible.
Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director at Human Rights Watch
Bodies of persons lie in the garden of the Mahari Hotel in Sirte, immediately after they were put into body bags by local residents. At the time of their killing the hotel was apparently controlled by anti-Gaddafi fighters from Misrata. 53 persons were ap
(Sirte) – Fifty-three people, apparent Gaddafi supporters, seem to have been executed at a hotel in Sirte last week, Human Rights Watch said today. The hotel is in an area of the city that was under the control of anti-Gaddafi fighters from Misrata before the killings took place.
Human Rights Watch called on Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC) to conduct an immediate and transparent investigation into the apparent mass execution and to bring those responsible to justice.
Human Rights Watch saw the badly decomposed remains of the 53 people on October 23, 2011, at the Hotel Mahari in District 2 of Sirte. The bodies were clustered together, apparently where they had been killed, on the grass in the sea-view garden of the hotel.
Anti-Gaddafi fighters from Misrata had held that area of Sirte since early October, according to witnesses interviewed by Human Rights Watch. On the entrance and walls of the hotel Human Rights Watch saw the names of several brigades from Misrata.
The condition of the bodies suggests the victims were killed approximately one week prior to their discovery, between October 14 and October 19, Human Rights Watch said. The bloodstains on the grass directly below the bodies, bullet holes visible in the ground, and the spent cartridges of AK-47 and FN-1 rifles scattered around the site strongly suggest that some, if not all of the people, were shot and killed in the location where they were discovered, Human Rights Watch said.
All the bodies were in a similar stage of decomposition, suggesting they were killed at the same approximate time. Some of the bodies had their hands tied behind their backs with plastic ties. Others had bandages over serious wounds, suggesting they had been treated for other injuries prior to their deaths.
About 20 Sirte residents were putting the bodies in body bags and preparing them for burial when Human Rights Watch arrived at the hotel. They said they had discovered the bodies on October 21, after the fighting in Sirte had stopped and they returned to their neighborhood. They identified four of the dead as residents of Sirte: Ezzidin al-Hinsheri, allegedly a former Gaddafi government official, a military officer named Muftah Dabroun, and two Sirte residents, Amar Mahmoud Saleh and Muftah al-Deley.
Those preparing the bodies said they believed most of the victims were residents of Sirte, some of them Gaddafi supporters. They said that some of the victims had most likely tried to flee from District 2, the last stronghold of Gaddafi loyalists as anti-Gaddafi forces attacked the city. Other victims were possibly released from Ibn Sina Hospital in Sirte, they said, after being treated for conflict-related injuries. The claim that some of the victims had been released from the hospital is consistent with the discovery of bandaged wounds on some of the bodies, Human Rights Watch said.