Home Governance Satellite imagery reveals destruction of Libyan town

Satellite imagery reveals destruction of Libyan town

Libya: The Libyan government should take urgent steps to stop serious and ongoing human rights violations against inhabitants of the town of Tawergha, who are widely viewed as having supported Muammar Gaddafi. The forced displacement of roughly 40,000 people, arbitrary detentions, torture, and killings are widespread, systematic, and sufficiently organized to be crimes against humanity and should be condemned by the United Nations Security Council.

Newly released satellite imagery analysis shows the systematic destruction of large swaths of the town by arson and targeted demolitions after the fighting there had stopped in mid-2011, in an apparent attempt to prevent Tawerghans from returning home.

“Successive governments in Tripoli and local authorities in Misrata have failed to stop the ongoing persecution of an entire community and the destruction of the town,” said Fred Abrahams, special advisor at Human Rights Watch. “This leaves a dark stain on the reputation of a new Libya that claims to respect human rights.”

Armed groups from Misrata, about 30 kilometers north, have been responsible for most of the abuses. These groups accuse Tawerghans of having fought with or supported pro-Gaddafi forces during the 2011 conflict, and of committing war crimes in Misrata. The Libyan government and Misrata authorities have been unable to rein in these abusive armed groups.

Militia commanders and senior officials in Misrata could be held criminally responsible by domestic and international courts, including the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, for ordering these crimes, or for failing to prevent them or to punish the attackers, Human Rights Watch said.

Source: All Africa