Bab al-Aziziyah Further evidence of executions carried out by the Qadhafi forces was found in a dry riverbed between Gargur and the Qadhafi compound at Bab al-Aziziyah.
On 23 August 2011, a local man from Gargur joined with thuwar from the Nafusa Mountains to attack the Bab Al-Aziziyah compound of Muammar Qadhafi.304He told the Commission that as he approached the entrance to the compound, they saw many dead bodies on the street. Another group of men were putting bodies into a truck and they helped them gather 15 bodies. The bodies were all men in civilian clothes. 14 of them were handcuffed at the back by electric cable or pieces of cloth, while a fifteenth body was handcuffed with steel handcuffs. They had wounds to different parts of the body.
The Commission interviewed two witnesses who reportedly saw the killing of three medical personnel. On 24 August 2011 after Bab Al-Aziziyah fell to the thuwar, one witness related how he was fixing his car when an ambulance entered Gargur from the direction of the Souq Al-talata. The ambulance had ‘17 February’ written on the side. A group of Qadhafi forces in green military uniform stopped the ambulance. There were three persons on board: the driver and two men in medical scrubs who he assumed were doctors. The witness saw them taken out of the ambulance, put on the ground and then shot, by at least four or five of the soldiers. The soldiers then drained the fuel from the ambulance.305
Another witness said he was detained at the same checkpoint with two other men earlier the same day. When their car was searched, the soldiers discovered weapons and a card identifying one of the other men as a member of the Tripoli thuwar. The Commander of the 32nd (Khamis) Brigade soldiers , took his pistol and shot the man in the head. The witness and his friend were beaten and had their hands tied behind their backs. They were taken to a disused shop in the Bab Aukara area of Gargur. There were already four detainees there, guarded by eight soldiers. Later that day, he watched as the three medical staff, described above, were executed in front of the shop. The witness was wounded in the leg later when one of the guards fired at the detainees from outside the shop. One of the guards , whom he knew before, intervened and saved them by releasing them. The other detainees who had been there when they arrived were unable to move, as a result of the severe torture they had gone through.306
Both witnesses returned to the site subsequently. The first witness told the Commission how the day after he had witnessed the executions, he and a group of other people from Gargur found 31 bodies in the dry riverbed between Gargur and Bab Al-Aziziyah. The bodies were lying between the Airport Road Bridge and the Falah Al-Sawani Bridge. The three medical personnel whom he had seen shot were amongst them. He came back the next day with group of volunteers and they took all the bodies to two separate cemeteries, one on the Shutt road (coastal road), near Matiga Airport and the remainder to the Al-Sebeyah cemetery, 35 km south west of Tripoli, on the road to Tarhouna. The bodies were buried in mass graves as they were unidentified.307The second witness also subsequently returned to the shop where he had been detained and learnt from local people that the four detainees left behind had been executed.308
Photographs obtained by the Commission from witnesses show decomposing bodies lying in the street and in the dry riverbed, with their hands in some cases tied behind their backs. Two of the bodies were wearing medical scrubs, suggesting they were doctors or medical staff. The bodies are rotting, bloated with skin slippage and with the clothes wet from putrefactive flow. Taking into account the hot climate, the Commission’s forensic pathologist suggested this was consistent with death occurring more than five days previously.