United Nations A/hrc/19/68

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3. Thuwar

49. During the second phase of its work, the Commission visited detention facilities in Misrata, Tripoli, Al Zawiyah, Tajoura and Zintan run by individual brigades, security committees or military councils or by the interim Government. It interviewed more than 100 current and former Libyan and foreign detainees. The Commission encountered compelling evidence of torture and ill-treatment. Most frequently used methods included beating with objects such as electric wires, rubber hoses, wooden sticks; electric shocks; falaqa; and suspension in contorted positions. The purpose of torture appeared to be the extraction of information or confessions, and\or punishment for alleged crimes.

50. At the time of writing, most detained Qadhafi soldiers and alleged loyalists were held in unofficial centres outside the legal framework.

51. The Commission noted that detainees were especially vulnerable to torture upon arrest, during the first days of detention, and during interrogations. Many of those arrested were tortured in temporary facilities before being transferred to prisons or other locations. The Commission documented a pattern of severe torture perpetrated in particular against Tawerghans by Misratan thuwar, who accuse them of committing rapes and other crimes in Misrata. Detainees told the Commission that they confessed to serious crimes including rape – that they denied committing – after they could no longer withstand the torture.

4. Conclusions

52. The Commission found that Qadhafi forces committed torture and ill-treatment in a widespread and systematic manner.

53. The Commission further finds that the Qadhafi forces and the thuwar perpetrated torture and ill-treatment. These acts are violations of international human rights law, and when committed during armed conflict constitute war crimes.

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