United Nations A/hrc/19/68

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B. Unlawful killings2

1. Introduction

23. In its second phase, the Commission concentrated on the larger scale executions by Qadhafi forces, but is aware that many individual killings also occurred.

2. Qadhafi Forces

24. On 6 June 2011, 18 detainees died in Al Khums from suffocation due to being held by Qadhafi forces in poorly ventilated metal containers in rising temperatures. Seventeen died in side the containers while 1 died later in hospital. The Commission was able to corroborate much of the testimony of survivors through physical evidence at the site. The Commission also interviewed one of the guards present at the time.

25. A number of detainees were tortured at a boy scouts camp used by Qadhafi forces as a military base and detention centre in Al Qalaa. Following the retreat of Qadhafi forces in July 2011, footage reportedly taken from the telephone of a soldier showed bodies in a mass grave behind the base. Witnesses, together with the local prosecutor, uncovered the bodies of 34 men and boys, blindfolded and with their hands tied behind their backs. There were three other bodies lying nearby. The Commission interviewed witnesses who participated in the exhumation and identification of bodies as well as former detainees at the Boy Scouts’ base who had been released prior to the executions. The Commission also visited the site. Rifle cartridge cases remained at the scene along with some skeletal remains.

26. An informal detention centre was established in a warehouse adjacent to the 32nd Brigade’s base in Yarmouk, Tripoli. According to testimony received, torture and ill-treatment of detainees was routine there. On 23 August 2011, as Tripoli fell, guards threw grenades into the warehouse and then began to fire through the door, killing dozens. As the prisoners were so tightly packed, however, some survived and managed to escape. Two days later, the guards burned the bodies of those killed. Of the 157 detainees, only 51 survivors were confirmed. The Commission interviewed survivors, as well as two of the guards who admitted direct or indirect involvement. The testimony is broadly consistent and corroborative. The Commission’s forensic pathologist identified skeletal remains inside the warehouse. Other forensic evidence remaining at the site is considerable and supports the testimony closely. Six detainees, including three medical doctors, were shot a day earlier in a second warehouse, a few hundred metres away. Three of the six died.

27. Gargur, in Tripoli, was the site of another unofficial detention centre. Locals knew the building as the former “Green Security Building”. Witnesses and survivors told the Commission that on 23 August 2011 guards opened fire on the detainees. Twenty-one people were shot and killed.

28. Further evidence of executions carried out by Qadhafi forces was found in Bab Al Aziziyah. On 23 August 2011, a witness described how he helped gather 15 bodies, all men in civilian clothes and all handcuffed. The Commission interviewed two witnesses who reportedly saw the killing of three medical personnel, taken from an ambulance and shot. The Commission was able to corroborate the testimony with photographs showing decomposing bodies.

29. The Commission found further mass executions had occurred in Bani Walid, as well as significant numbers of individual killings elsewhere.

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