United Nations A/hrc/19/68

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  1. The contexts in which the various attacks detailed in this Section take place are complex. Those alleged to be responsible believe those being attacked either fought with Qadhafi forces or uniformly supported the Qadhafi forces and, in some cases, that they committed crimes against their own population or were the recipients of preferential treatment by the Qadhafi government. The Commission also notes, however, frequent comments reflecting the belief that those being attacked are in some way not “indigenous” to the region or to Libya as whole.

Targetting of Tawerghans by the Misrata thuwar

  1. The Commission finds that the Misrata thuwar targeted the Tawerghan community in a widespread and systematic manner.

  2. As detailed above, the Commission finds that Misrata thuwar have extra-judicially executed, otherwise unlawfully killed and tortured to death Tawerghans during Phase II and III of events in Libya. The Commission found that Misrata thuwar have arbitrarily arrested Tawerghans in locations across Libya, including but not limited to Tawergha, Al Khums, Tripoli and Sirte; that, in the majority of cases, they have transported them to Misrata, where most are held in various detention centres; that some of these arrests have been accompanied by extortion and looting. The Commission found that Misrata thuwar tortured Tawerghan men on multiple occasions and subjected them to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

  3. The Commission finds that, in respect of Tawergha itself, the Misrata thuwar have looted and destroyed properties during the period of time that hostilities were ongoing. It also found that the continuing destruction of Tawergha in the post-conflict period has been done with the intent of making Tawergha uninhabitable and so preventing the return of displaced Tawerghans.

  4. The instances of cruel treatment and pillaging which occurred during the hostilities constitute a war crime.740 Where they have continued since, they violate international human rights law. The torture and killing committed against the Tawerghans by the Misrata thuwar, and other Misratans, would each individually, given the widespread and systematic manner in which they have occurred here, be capable of constituting a crime against humanity and the facts indicate crimes against humanity have taken place.

Targeting of other communities by the thuwar

  1. In respect of the targeting of the Mashashiya, the Commission found that Zintan thuwar have unlawfully killed and arbitrarily arrested and tortured members of the Mashashiyan community. They have destroyed property, and demonstrated an unwillingness to allow members of that community to return to their homes.

  2. In respect of the targeting of the residents of Tiji, the Commission found that Nalut thuwar have committed unlawful killings and torture, as well as looting and destruction of property. They have launched an indiscriminate attack on Tiji, which was populated by civilians at the time.

  3. In respect of the targeting of the Arab residents of Abu Kammesh, the Commission finds that Zowara thuwar have committed unlawful killings and torture, as well as looting and destruction of property.

  4. In respect of the targeting of Misratans who left Misrata during the conflict, the Commission found that they have been arbitrarily deprived of their property.

  5. The Commission found that, throughout the conflict, sub-Saharan Africans have been arbitrarily arrested, beaten and in some cases killed by various thuwar, largely in the belief that they were mercenaries contracted by Qadhafi forces. The Commission observes however that in many instances those attacked were long-term residents of Libya, and none were in fact mercenaries.

  6. In these cases, while there were clear indications that the communities were targeted and the consequences for individuals were severe, the Commission did not find the necessary evidence to indicate that the attacks against these communities were as widespread or as systematic as is the case with the Misrata thuwar and Tawergha. However, insofar as these acts took place with a nexus to the armed conflict they constitute war crimes; where they have occurred since the armed conflict ceased, they constitute a violation of international human rights law.

  7. The Commission understands the current difficulties faced by the Libyan Government in resolving the above situations. Nevertheless, the Commission considers, in the light of the egregious continuing violations being perpetrated against the Tawerghan and other targeted communities now scattered across Libya, the Libyan Government must take steps to end the culture of impunity that characterises the attacks.

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