Evidence of mass execution at Gaddafi death site
International non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Wednesday it had new evidence that militias opposed to Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi executed 66 members of his convoy following the dictator's capture and killing last year.
In a report, titled Death of a Dictator: Bloody Vengeance in Sirte, the New York-based group detailed Gaddafi's final hours and the circumstances under which he was slain in October 2011 in his Libyan home town, dpa reported.
"The evidence suggests that opposition militias summarily executed at least 66 captured members of Gaddafi's convoy in Sirte," said Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director at the watchdog agency. "Our findings call into question the assertion by Libyan authorities that Gaddafi was killed in crossfire, and not after his capture."
The evidence indicates that opposition militias took Gaddafi's wounded son, Mutassim, from Sirte to the western town of Misrata and killed him there, the group reported.
Among the most powerful new evidence is a mobile phone video clip filmed by opposition militia members that shows a large group of captured convoy members in detention, being cursed at and abused, the report said.
The group said it had used hospital morgue photos to establish that at least 17 of the detainees visible in the video were later executed.
"These killings constitute the largest documented execution of detainees by anti-Gaddafi forces during the eight-month conflict in Libya," the report said.
The US State Department urged Libya's transitional government to investigate the claims and prosecute those who carried them out "in a manner consistent with Libya's international obligations," spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in Washington.
The US has regularly urged the government of Libya to continue to investigate the circumstances of Gaddafi's death and is training lawyers and judges to support the process.
"It's very important to hold those responsible to account," said Nuland, noting that it is part of the "ground that they need to plough for national reconciliation."