Amnesty International urges protection of Libyan civilians amid Tripoli fighting
Libya, Politics, 8/23/2011
Amnesty International yesterday urged all sides in Libya to "protect the rights of civilians and safeguard them from attack as forces of the National Transitional Council (NTC) continued to battle for control of the capital, Tripoli."
"These are momentous but extremely dangerous days for the people of Libya. All forces must respect the rights of civilians and ensure that the fighting in Tripoli and elsewhere does not result in reprisals," said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Director.
"NTC forces must make sure that Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi is treated humanely and handed over safely to the ICC without delay to face trial, as should Colonel al-Gaddafi be if he is captured or surrenders."
Rumors had spread of Saif al-Islam and other of Gaddafi's sons, but Said of them was shown to be free to move on Al-Arabia satellite TV.
Amnesty International said "Forces loyal to Colonel al-Gaddafi are involved in heavy fighting with NTC forces around the Colonel's compound in Tripoli. There have been scenes of jubilation among NTC supporters across the city but also reports of revenge attacks against al-Gaddafi loyalists, with the NTC's head today making a call for calm."
"The NTC must ensure that its members and supporters do not carry out revenge attacks or other reprisals against alleged al-Gaddafi supporters and sub-Saharan Africans accused of being mercenaries," said Malcolm Smart.
Amnesty International said The NTC has reportedly secured the release of some political prisoners who had been detained by al-Gaddafi forces.
"The reports of releases are welcome, but urgent steps must also to be taken to clarify the fate of victims of enforced disappearance held in Colonel al-Gaddafi's jails," said Malcolm Smart.
Amnesty International noted that "On 27 June, ICC judges approved warrants for the arrest of Colonel al-Gaddafi, Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi and military intelligence chief Abdallah al-Sanussi for alleged crimes against humanity, including murder and persecution. Mu'ammar al-Gaddafi is accused of ordering a wave of killings and enforced disappearances of suspected critics of the government after protests against his rule began in February in Benghazi, inspired by mass protests across the Middle East and North Africa."
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