Qaddafi dead; Amnesty International calls for investigation

Jubilation erupted in Tripoli as news broke that Moammar Qaddafi had died after being captured in Sirte Oct. 20. But the circumstances of his death are greatly disputed. Initial reports said he was found hiding in a drainage tunnel after having been injured in a NATO airstrike on a convoy fleeing the town. Other reports indicated he was caught in crossfire after his capture. Images first showed him alive; other images then emerged of his gruesome corpse. “Keep him alive, keep him alive!” someone shouts in one video clip—just before gunshots ring out and the camera veers off. One National Transitional Council official speculated to the BBC that he was shot by own colleagues. By some reports, he died in a hospital in Misrata; by other accounts he was already dead upon arrival in the city. His son Mutassim is reported to have been killed alongside him. His other son Saif escaped from Sirte and remains at large.

President Barack Obama hailed the killing as marking the end of “dark tyranny” over Libya. But Amnesty International called for the NTC to publish the full facts of Qaddafi’s death and hold a “full, independent and impartial inquiry to establish the circumstances” of the slaying. The rights group also called for a full accounting of years is abuses under Qaddafi’s rule. “The legacy of repression and abuse from Col. Moammar al-Gaddafi’s rule will not end until there is a full accounting for the past and human rights are embedded in Libya’s new institutions,” said Amnesty’s Claudio Cordone.

The NTC denied that Qaddafi had been killed by its forces after capture. It said his remains would be shortly buried at a secret location. One doctor said he died frmo two bullet bullet wounds—one in the leg, and one in the head. The body was paraded through the streets of Misrata after his death, as crowds chanted “God is great” and “The blood of the martyrs will not go in vain.” (LAT, AP, BBC World Service, Oct. 21; Reuters, News Consortium, CBS, The Independent, The Guardian, Amnesty International, Oct. 20; video footage online at

In Venezuela, Hugo Chávez said: “Sadly the death of Qaddafi has been confirmed. They assassinated him. It is another outrage. We shall remember Qaddafi our whole lives as a great fighter, a revolutionary and a martyr.” (AFP, Oct. 21)

See our last post on Libya.

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  1. ARE you real?……our
    ARE you real?……our principals do not play here, nor, do they care!!…….any country with a dictator will remove him/her the most violent way…… “investigate”, is just another ploy to spend money (our money) for a situation that needs no “investigation”…..WE KNOW WHAT HAPPENED AND WHY, EVEN WITHOUT THE PICTURES…….besides, had we “captured” osama, we would have then have the right to question, respectfully ,the actions of another country…tally the cost of this action and, put that money into the economy………music for schools or better yet, feed our embarrasingly growing population of hungry children………………

  2. UN rights office calls for investigation into Qaddafi killing
    The UN Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) on Oct. 21 called for a full investigation into the killing of Moammar Qaddafi. Rupert Colville, the spokesman for UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay told reporters that there needs to be an investigation into whether Qaddafi was killed during fighting with the NTC forces or if this was an execution. The UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions said that states need to respect international standards on the use of lethal force during an arrest. Amnesty International also issued a press release urging an investigation into Qaddafi’s death. AI stated that it would be a war crime if Qaddafi were deliberately killed after capture. (Jurist, Oct. 21)

  3. Where is Saif al-Islam?
    The Daily Mail informs us the NTC has declared that Qaddafi’s playboy son Saif al-Islam intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi are proposing to surrender to the International Criminal Court—but also that a detachment of British Special Forces troops are chasing him across the desert as he attempts to flee for Niger.

    Iran’s meanwhile reports that Saif made a live call to Syria’s Al-Rai TV, in which he stated: “We continue our resistance. I am in Libya, I am alive, free and intend to go to the very end and exact revenge.”

  4. Tunisia courts to review extradition of ex-Libya prime minister
    Tunisian courts will review a request for the extradition of former Libyan prime minister al-Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi placed by the NTC, according to a statement made Nov. 2 by al-Mahmoudi’s lawyer Mabrouk Kourchid. Al-Mahmoudi has been held in Tunisia since September when he was detained while attempting to illegally enter Tunisia. Reports indicate that al-Mahmoudi fears for his safety and claims to be the sole possessor of Libyan state secrets following the death of ousted Libyan leader Moammar Qaddafi. (Jurist, Nov. 2)

  5. ICC prosecutor: Qaddafi death may be war crime
    The International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor says there are “serious suspicions” that the death of Moammar Qaddafi was a war crime. Luis Moreno-Ocampo made the comments Dec. 15 at a press briefing at the UN. Moreno-Ocampo said the ICC is asking Libya’s interim government how it plans to investigate alleged war crimes, including those of revolutionary forces. “I think the way in which Mr. Qaddafi was killed creates suspicions of war crimes and I think that a very important issue,” he said. (VOA, Oct. 21)