Amnesty International said it has new evidence of atrocities committed by soldiers loyal to Moammar Gaddafi, including the execution of rebel prisoners near the town of Ajdabiya.
Investigators from Amnesty witnessed the bodies of two rebels in a Benghazi morgue who were shot to death in the back of the head with their hands tied behind their backs with metal wire. Another body indicated he had been shot with both his hands and feet bound.
“Based on what our delegates have seen in eastern Libya over the last six weeks, the circumstances of these killings strongly suggest that they were carried out by the forces loyal to… Gaddafi, said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International’s director for the Middle East and North Africa.
“The deliberate killing of captured fighters is a war crime. All those responsible for such crimes -- those who ordered or sanctioned them as well as those who carried them out -- must be left in no doubt that they will be held fully accountable.”
Amnesty said its officials also saw the body of another rebel solider in a hospital in Ajdabiya hospital with his wrists tied behind his back with plastic handcuffs; with his ankles together also tied together.
The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has already indicated he may file war crimes charges against Gaddafi and his associated.
“Gaddafi’s forces have been repeatedly violating international law, and these new killings seem to be the latest example. Perpetrators of such abuses must be held to account by the International Criminal Court,” noted Amnesty’s Smart.
“Individual criminal responsibility applies to those involved in such crimes at all levels of the chain of command, from the top military and political leadership to the soldiers who fired the shots. Acting under orders of superiors cannot be used as a defense by those who commit war crimes”.
Over the past six weeks of its investigation, Amnesty International has uncovered compelling evidence of other war crimes by Gaddafi’s forces – including the deliberately killing of unarmed protesters, attacks against civilians fleeing areas of fighting, as well as the illegal and forced arrest and torture of detainees,