The announcement of Moammar Gadhafi's death sent shock waves through Libya, reverberating across the globe, as citizens rejoice the final fall of their former leader.
Moammar Gadhafi, a notorious tyrant who enacted a reign of terror upon the Libyan people, has been pronounced dead after a head injury. He was supposedly found hiding in a pipe, similar to other fallen dictator Saddam Hussein. Reports on the situation are continuously updating so facts will change.
Gadhafi's suffocating power began to unravel in early 2011 when the Libyan people rose up in anti-government protests as part of the Arab Spring movement. Then began the Libyan Revolution, a grueling civil war, to depose Gadhafi.
In June 2011, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Gadhafi and his sons for crimes against humanity including the mass murder of unarmed civilians and the distribution of Viagra to Libyan soldiers for the purpose of raping women. The autocratic leader wanted to use these tactics to instill fear in the population and maintain an iron-clad control.
As per one example, in 1996 Gadhafi was behind the slaughter of 1,200 inmates at a prison in Tripoli.
His legacy is state-sponsored terrorism, ego-driven toxic politics, and despair and desperation for Libyans, Shada Islam, a Middle East expert at the Friends of Europe policy-advisory group in Brussels, said as reported by Cleveland.com. It's easy to make fun of him, but he's a very dangerous man.
Gadhafi seized control in 1969 after a non-violent military coup. He remained Libya's leader for 41 years, the longest reign for a non-royal and the longest reign for an Arab ruler.
Gadhafi exerted an oppressive rule. He had spies in various areas of his internal networks, so as to eliminate any possibility for dissent. Purification laws were put into effect, meaning even small crimes could be punishable by the amputation of limbs. Homosexuals could face up to five years in prison. Publications were censored. Phone lines were monitored and would be cut off if there was discussion of government dissent.
As for life in Libya, We're not living like humans, said a woman named Sara to BBC in February. You feel like you're in jail. Like you're trapped in your own country... Any average Libyan girl like me lives a very trapped life, a very sad life.
The Libyan people have been oppressed for 41 years under the mighty fist of tyranny. Finally, they are free.
Check out our slide show of images depicting Libya, following Gadhafi's death.