Towns in Al Jufrah As many of 15,000 Tawerghans, half of the town’s population, fled into the southern district of Al Jufrah through Sawfajjin.641 Many of them settled briefly in Hun, Al Jufra’s district capital before proceeding on to Benghazi where local thuwar were providing them with protection from attacks.
According to interviews conducted by the Commission, two Tawerghan men were arrested on the outskirts of Wadaan in Al Jufrah by thuwar forces. The two reportedly had their hands tied behind their backs and were placed in the rear of a pick-up truck. In the course of an argument, one of the men was thrown out from the truck and shot three times while on the ground.642 He died from the wounds. According to the same interviewee, the surviving man was taken to a warehouse in Wadaan where other detainees, some of them Tawerghan, were held. The Commission heard that the man was beaten while being transported to the warehouse and also while he was held at the warehouse. He was reportedly released after six days without knowing the reasons for his arrest, and without being charged or being brought before an official body.
The Commission received information about an attack against Tawerghans taking place in late October 2011 in the town of Shawarif involving the arrest of 48 Tawerghan families.643Reportedly, all 48 families, including women and children were detained by the Misratan al-Istiqlal brigade in the former Social Security building in Shawarif. All were eventually released with the exception of nine men. According to a testimony received, one of the nine men - a former soldier who had participated in the Qadhafi forces attack on Misrata - was beaten with sticks and subjected to electric shocks until he became unconscious.644 The man was reportedly then taken to Misrata. According to the individual interviewed, the man’s whereabouts were unclear though the family heard that he died in custody.645
Another of the nine arrested men was also taken to Misrata. Following an investigation by his family, it was discovered the man had died and his body had been taken to the Sabi’a hospital.646 According to the official autopsy report, a copy of which has been retained by the Commission, the man died as a result of a skull fracture.
In Alut on or about 18 August 2011, two Tawerghan men were moving southwards when they were reportedly stopped on a roadside in Alut by six armed men in a pick-up truck with the names of one of the Misrata brigades painted on the side.647 According to information received by the Commission, the two men were beaten, with one having his nose broken after being kicked in the face. The two men were reportedly threatened with death with an anti-aircraft gun being aimed at them before being eventually placed in front of a tree and shot.648 Severely wounded, the thuwar allegedly left them there to die. One of the men, who had a flesh wound, managed to flee. While the other, who had a serious gunshot injury to his right leg, managed to survive for several days eating leaves and drinking water from irrigation pipes, before he was found by Tawerghans who came in search of his body.
The IDP camps in Al Jufrah district are now being protected by the Benghazi thuwar. There have been confrontations between the Benghazi and Misratan forces as the Misratan forces are prevented from entering the camp. One officer from Benghazi told Human Rights Watch that members of the Misratan brigades fired at his feet. He told the investigators that the Misratan brigades now “mainly…. looking for stray Tawerghans in the street…. They’re on a hunt”.649
Benghazi and eastern Libya A significant number of Tawerghans are now in IDP camps in Benghazi.650 Due to continuing attacks on Tawerghans in IDP camps in Al Jufrah district by Misrata thuwar, thuwar from Benghazi had escorted the Tawerghan community there to Al Halis and Sidi Faraj camps in Benghazi and were providing protection to those camps.651
According to the Tawerghan council in Benghazi, there are estimated an estimated 12,000 Tawerghans displaced to Benghazi and another 4,000 Tawerghans displaced to Ajdabiya, Al Bayda, Tobruq and Sabah in eastern Libya.652 The Commission has not been able to verify these figures.
The Tawerghan council in Benghazi informed the Commission that thuwar from Misrata had tried to attack the IDP camps in Benghazi and in Ajdabiya on several occasions but had been pushed back by Benghazi’s February 17 and Al Jazeera thuwar, respectively. The council suggested that much of the Tawerghan community’s money is in banks in Misrata which they are unable to access.
Misrata Following the fall of Tawergha and the subsequent displacement of the Tawergha community, the majority of the Tawerghans who were arrested in different towns in Libya were transported to and detained in Misrata.653 According to interviews conducted by the Commission, they were held in unofficial detention centres such as the Al Wahda school,654 the Ras Altoba secondary school655 and a post office.656 In one instance, Tawerghan men were held in a shipping container.657
The Commission has documented multiple incidents of Tawerghans held in detention in Misrata being subjected to incidents of torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment. While most of the Tawerghans experienced physical violence, the extent of the violence appears to have varied, depending on the individuals detaining them (see chap. III, sect. D).
A Tawerghan man and his brother were arrested in Tripoli in late October 2011, without a warrant, and taken to Misrata where they were held in a shipping container. Reportedly, both men were tortured: on one day, the man was hung upside down and beaten, including having his feet beaten with electric cables. The Commission heard that his brother was hung by the wrist and beaten with chains.His brother was reportedly beaten on his feet every day for a three day period and for a time could not stand up, having to crawl to move. According to testimony received, they spent 17 days in a container with no light, were not given access to a bathroom and were only being given food occasionally. The guards reportedly informed the man that they had killed his brother and that they were going to kill him and then fired their weapons to his side. The two were eventually released. The injuries to the man’s brother’s feet were still visible two months later.658
Another interviewee witnessed the death of a 30 year old Tawerghan school teacher detained in a post office in Misrata.659 The interviewee, who had been arrested in Tripoli in mid-August 2011, indicated that the man had been brought in in early September, bleeding from the head. Guards reportedly denied requests for medical attention and he died the following day.660 Another interviewee who had been arrested in Al Khums and taken to a detention centre in Misrata indicated to the Commission that he witnessed the deaths of two Tawerghans detained with him.661 During visits to detention centres in Misrata, the Commission interviewed several Tawerghan detainees who informed that they were beaten regularly, often unprovoked.662
The Commission also notes the 22 interviews of Tawerghans detained in Misrata completed by Human Rights Watch, many of which describe Tawerghan detainees having their bones broken, being beaten around the head, suffering electric shocks, being beaten with a variety of objects including whips, rifle butts, metal bars, wooden sticks, rubber hoses and electrical cables. One man “displayed fresh gashes on his face and arms, and blood was visible inside his mouth. During the interview, the man lost consciousness for about one minute”.663