Libya search for killers a siege - AI

2012-10-06 09:10

Tripoli - Libyan efforts to arrest the killers of a man credited with capturing late leader Muammar Gaddafi have turned into a siege of the city of Bani Walid, Amnesty International said on Friday.

Last month, the national assembly ordered force to be used if needed to arrest those responsible for kidnapping and shooting Shaaban Omran, who succumbed to his wounds shortly after the authorities brokered his release from Bani Walid.

The September 25 order by the General National Congress has been followed by a gradual build-up of army and militia forces around the oasis town, a final bastion of Gaddafi loyalists in the 2011 conflict.

"It is worrying that what essentially should be a law-enforcement operation to arrest suspects looks increasingly like a siege of a city and a military operation," said Amnesty deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa, Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui.

Residents report that vehicles carrying petrol, water, food and medical supplies have been turned back at a checkpoint about 80km away from Bani Walid on the main road from Tripoli, the watchdog said.


Omran was a native of Misrata, and his death last month stoked tensions between Bani Walid and Misrata, neighbouring but historically rival cities that fought on opposite sides of last year's war.

The authorities have also called for the release of other detainees held in Bani Walid and set a 10-day deadline, which expired on Friday.

"At least four other Misratans are believed to be held by armed militias in Bani Walid," Amnesty International said.

Bani Walid was one of the last cities to fall to anti-Gaddafi rebels. Many fighters from Misrata and other areas feel that the town was never truly liberated and that it shelters remnants of the old regime and criminal elements.

Sahraoui said "Libyan authorities should ensure that maximum restraint is exercised in any use of force, which should be proportionate to the purported objective of arresting suspects."

On Tuesday, one person was killed and five wounded in clashes near Bani Walid, said local leaders, who accused Misrata militiamen of trying to enter the city.

In the absence of a robust army, the authorities typically mobilise to hot spots brigades made up of former rebel, but some groups act of their own accord.

Amnesty noted that hundreds of Bani Walid residents have also been arrested by militias and remain held without charge in detention centres across Libya, including in Misrata.

Many of them have been tortured, said the organisation.

Sahraoui urged the authorities to put an "immediate end to ongoing abductions of individuals without warrant by armed militias and close all unofficial detention facilities".

  • david.lebethe - 2012-10-06 11:11

    While Amnesty International is trying to atone and restore its credibility after unlawful invadsion of Libya by allied forces not so long ago, however, it needs to be support for its fair statement/comment. Otherwise, it is complicity to sufferings of people of Libya and about all social ills inflicted upon that country post Gaddafi.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-10-06 15:35

      Unlawful invasion of Libya? Yeah right. Where have you been.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-10-06 17:15

      David, Sorrrrry, you are saying??????????????????????????????

      jans.opresser - 2012-10-06 21:17

      aaahhh good ol" demoCRAZY in libya! how is that working out for you anthonyfromengland"? the entire town of ben walid is STILL under gadaffi supporter control!! pretty sure none of those residents took part in that sham of an election that you trumpet any chance that you get! they have their own govt police military etc. etc. no al-qaeda rebels allowed in!and now the al-qaeda rebels have turned on america and england! rumour has it that they kicked the F.B.I. out of the country after only allowing them THREE HOURS to investigate the crime scene at the US consulate? with help like that,who needs enemies? what will be your excuse when america bombs libya?

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-10-06 21:50

      Patrick, """The two tossers Anthony and Fred speak with nothing to offer but CRAP. Both enjoying having a USA dildo stuck up their behinds, climaxing every 5 minutes whilst jerking themselves off.""" Patrick 05 Oct 2012 You really THAT naive, after posting FILTH, like above, ANYONE is interested in your utterings ??????

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-10-06 21:54

      Jans, aka, thathorribleguyfullofhatredfromaccrosstheocean, I realize your brain is now working overtime, with this one terrorist attack in Benghazi, so I don't want to stress you much more, besides to say, that the USA, has more interest in Monaco,than in Libya !!!

  • jans.opresser - 2012-10-06 21:37

  • pages:
  • 1