United Nations A/hrc/19/68



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Conclusion

  • The Commission has established that, in addition to shootings of demonstrators during the early phase and large numbers of individual killings during the armed conflict, the scale of executions by Qadhafi security forces increased as their defeat neared. The Commission finds that the Qadhafi forces executed, otherwise unlawfully killed and tortured to death large numbers of prisoners in detention centres prior to retreating from the thuwar forces. During the armed conflict, killing fighters or others who have surrendered, captured or otherwise rendered hors de combat amounts to a war crime. Insofar as many of the detainees were therefore part of the civilian population rather than captured fighters, the systematic and widespread executions constitute a crime against humanity.

  • The Commission established that thuwar from various brigades across the country, as well as other opponents of the Qadhafi government, have executed, otherwise unlawfully killed and tortured to death Qadhafi soldiers, security officials as well as those they perceive to be loyalists or mercenaries. During the armed conflict, killing fighters or others who have surrendered, captured or otherwise rendered hors de combat amounts to a war crime. Once the conflict ended, such acts have constituted violations of international human rights law.

  • In the section on Accountability (see chap. IV) the report addresses the need for perpetrators to be brought to justice for the crimes of the Qadhafi forces. The Commission is also deeply concerned that no full, impartial and independent investigations or prosecutions appear to have been instigated into any executions and deaths in custody of members of communities perceived to be loyalist, those suspected of being mercenaries as well as captured members of the Qadhafi forces.

  • Further the Commission notes that while there is no treaty provision requiring measures to transfer the remains of the dead to their families in the context of non-international armed conflicts, the Commission notes that in a resolution adopted in 1974, the UN General Assembly called upon parties to armed conflicts, regardless of their character, “to take such action as may be within their power … to facilitate the disinterment and the return of remains, if requested by their families”,370 and that this is reflected in international customary law.371 The Commission concluded that both Qadhafi forces and the thuwar have failed to abide by this rule of international customary law.



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