United Nations A/hrc/19/68


The deaths of Muammar and Mutassim Qadhafi



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4. The deaths of Muammar and Mutassim Qadhafi

32. Both Muammar and Mutassim Qadhafi were captured separately on 20 October 2011 outside Sirte by Misrata thuwar. Though wounded, both were alive on capture and subsequently died in thuwar custody.

33. In relation to the death of Muammar Qadhafi, the Commission was not provided access to the autopsy report despite numerous requests to the authorities. Photos of Muammar Qadhafi’s body were provided to the Commission and reviewed by the Commission’s forensic pathologist but it was not possible to conclusively determine the cause of death from the photographs provided. While the Commission has eyewitness testimony of those with Muammar Qadhafi at the time of capture, it has not been able to obtain a first-hand account of the circumstances of his death and has received inconsistent accounts from secondary sources. Consequently, the Commission has been unable to confirm the death of Muammar Qadhafi as an unlawful killing and considers that further investigation is required.

34. In relation to the death of Mutassim Qadhafi, the Commission has reviewed video footage showing him alive and in the custody of thuwar post-capture, but has been unable to obtain any account of the circumstances of his death. Consequently, the Commission has been unable to confirm the death of Mutassim Qadhafi as an unlawful killing and considers that further investigation is required.



5. Conclusions

35. The Commission finds that the Qadhafi forces executed and tortured to death large numbers of prisoners in detention centres. Executions tended to occur immediately prior to retreats. During the armed conflict, this amounts to a war crime. Insofar as many of the detainees were part of the civilian population rather than captured fighters, the systematic and widespread executions constitute a crime against humanity.

36. Thuwar have executed and tortured to death perceived Qadhafi loyalists and suspected mercenaries. These were either hors de combat fighters or members of civilian population. During the armed conflict, this amounts to the war crime of murder. Once the conflict ended, it constituted an arbitrary deprivation of life.

37. The Commission is also deeply concerned that no independent investigations or prosecutions appear to have been instigated into killings committed by thuwar.





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