WASHINGTON, Oct 17, 2012 (AFP) -
WASHINGTON, Oct 17, 2012 (AFP) –
The United States on Wednesday renewed its call for Libya to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of ousted dictator Moamer Kadhafi, after a new probe by a US rights watchdog.
As the first anniversary of Kadhafi’s death looms, Human Rights Watch said it had uncovered new evidence implicating militias in summary executions and raising questions over Libya’s explanations of how he and one of his sons died.
The 50-page report, “Death of a Dictator: Bloody Vengeance in Sirte,” said Misrata-based militias captured and disarmed some 66 members of Kadhafi’s convoy in his hometown of Sirte last October.
“They then executed at least 66 captured members of the convoy at the nearby Mahari Hotel,” the report said.
“Our findings call into question the assertion by Libyan authorities that Moamer Kadhafi was killed in crossfire, and not after his capture,” said Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director at Human Rights Watch.
To document what happened on October 20, 2011, HRW said it had interviewed officers in opposition militias who were at the scene and surviving members of the Kadhafi convoy in hospital, in custody or at home.
“We are urging the government of Libya to genuinely investigate all these claims and to prosecute any perpetrators in a manner consistent with Libya’s international obligations,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.
Washington has also called on the Libyan government to investigate Kadhafi’s death as “it’s very important to hold those responsible to account.
“This is part of… not only the judicial maturation of Libya but also part of the ground that they need to plow for national reconciliation,” she said.
Nuland added the United States has been trying to “strengthen the underpinnings” of the Libyan judiciary by helping to train judges and lawyers.
“It’s no secret that this is a fragile and very new democracy,” she said.
“They were operating within a transitional governing structure for a very long time, and we need to now support them as they take the next steps on all of these issues.”