A joint report was released by the Arab Organization for Human
Rights (AOHR), Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), and
International Legal Assistance Consortium (ILAC).
Their mission investigated alleged widespread international law
violations since mid-February 2011. Its mandate included
investigating those committed by:
the former government,
It also sought to identify human rights issues, requiring Lybian and
Investigators included "leading international jurists and lawyers
with expertise in international human rights law, international
humanitarian law, international criminal law, transitional justice,
and the development of legal systems in post-conflict environments."
Information obtained from witnesses, victims, and other parties were
kept confidential unless already revealed and available.
Investigations weren't meant to be comprehensive. Rather, the
mission tried "to convey the considered observations of its members,
in order to facilitate, and prompt, the work of other bodies and
(1) Raji Sourani: PCHR Director, Arab Organization for Human Rights
President (AOHR), International Federation for Human Rights Vice
President, Executive Committee of the International Committee of
Jurists member, as well as other credentials.
(2) Amin Mekki Medani: Sudanese lawyer and former AOHR President. He
also held various UN posts.
(3) Mohsen Awad: former AOHR Secretary-General and Egyptian Human
Rights Council member.
(4) Amina Bouayach: Moroccan Organization for Human Rights President
and International Federation for Human Rights Vice President.
(5) Agneta Johansson: International Legal Assistance Consortium
(ILAC) Deputy Director.
(6) William Meyer: ILAC Chairman and former CEELI Prague Institute
(7) Daragh Murray: Republic of Ireland IRCHSS Scholar and head of
PCHR's International Unit.
(8) Hany Abu Nahla: head of PCHR's Translation Unit.
From November 15 - 22, investigations and interviews were conducted
in Western Libya alone, in and around Tripoli, Zawiya, Sibrata,
Khoms, Zliten, Misrata, Tawergha, and Sirte. Significantly, Benghazi
was omitted, an area plagued by insurgent crimes.
Findings revealed "significant" international law violations.
However, imposed constraints prevented investigators from reaching
"definitive legal conclusions regarding individual incidents."
Nonetheless, they believe crimes of war and against humanity were
Evidence suggests NATO classified civilian sites as military ones
for attacks, including homes, schools, colleges, food distribution
centers, hospitals, mosques, and others. In addition, civilians were
targeted, notably in Sirte.
In fact, one incident there killed 47 or more non-combatants. This
and other incidents raise "significant questions," requiring further
inquiry and disclosure.
Insurgents also violated international law, including civilian
killings; torture and other abuses; wrongful detentions;
mistreatment of foreign workers, and forced "displacement of
suspected enemies of the Revolution."
Observations about Gaddafi’s Governance
Unfortunately, investigators used dubious sources, calling his
authority "one man rule." They include the International Criminal
Court (ICC) and International Crisis Group (ICG). Neither functions
The ICC notoriously serves Western interests. As a result, it
absolves or ignores their crimes while targeting their enemies like
Former World Bank vice president Mark Malloch Brown and former US
diplomat Morton Abramowitz co-founded the ICG. Now headed by former
US diplomat Thomas Pickering and former International Criminal
Tribunals chief prosecutor for Yugoslavia and Rwanda Louise Arbour,
it functions the same way.
Its Executive Committee and advisors include former US and Western
officials, former NATO commander Wesley Clark, and corporate figures
like George Soros. They, in turn, reframed responsibility to protect
authority in Libya to lawlessly intervene belligerently to establish
neo-colonial rule. In fact, UN Charter provisions explicitly
prohibit military force for humanitarian interventions.
Investigators also mischaracterized Jamahiriya governance, calling
it "an elaborate facade" to hide Gaddafi's sole authority. Quoting
the ICG, they described it as "a highly complex formal ruling system
containing a plethora of congresses and committees, often with
overlapping powers, that have contributed to a sense of orchestrated
and perpetual chaos."
In addition by calling himself "Brother Leader," Gaddafi "avoid(ed)
They quoted the ICC saying "the Libyan State apparatus of power -
including political, administrative, military and security branches
- consists of a complex set of units and individuals, all of which
are ultimately subject to the orders and control of" Gaddafi.
They ignored Washington's longstanding regime change policy. As a
result, an externally generated insurgency followed. In addition,
the National Transitional Council (NTC) was illegitimately
established with interim puppet authority for Western interests.
Libyans are entirely shut out.
Nonetheless, investigators called it "internationally recognized as
the Government of Libya....to oversee the transition to
In fact, Washington, NATO partners, and complicit regional states
don't tolerate democracy or international law. Ignoring that denies
Moreover, investigators claim "pre-revolutionary Libya (was)
characterized by a climate of fear, in which individuals were afraid
to speak their mind, where opposition - real or perceived - was
ruthlessly crushed, and where security forces committed apparently
widespread and systematic abuses with total impunity."
Sadly, the facts belie this description. Most Libyans supported
Gaddafi and still do. During NATO's intervention, overwhelming
numbers rallied openly. On July 1, 2011, 95% of Tripoli's population
(over a million strong) expressed support in Green Square.
Fear restrains them now. Doing so risks imprisonment, torture,
and/or death by summary execution.
Libya's social state was also ignored, including under Gaddafi's
1999 Decision No. 111. It assured all Libyans free healthcare,
education, electricity, water, training, rehabilitation, housing
assistance, disability and old-age benefits, interest-free state
loans, as well as generous subsidies to study abroad, buy a new car,
help couples when they marry, practically free gasoline, and more.
Literacy under Gaddafi rose from 20 - 80%. Libya's hospitals and
private clinics were some of the region's best. Now they're in
Before war began, Libyans had Africa's highest standard of living.
Gaddafi's Green Book said:
"The house is a basic need of both the individual and the family,
therefore it should not be owned by others." It also covered other
social policies, saying:
"Women, like men, are human beings.
....(A)ll individuals have a natural right to self-expression by any
In a socialist society no person may own a private means of
transportation for the purpose of renting to others, because this
represents controlling the needs of others.
The democratic system is a cohesive structure whose foundation
stones are firmly laid above the other (through People's Conferences
and Committees). There is absolutely no conception of democratic
society other than this.
No representation of the people - representation is a falsehood. The
existence of parliaments underlies the absence of the people, for
democracy can only exist with the presence of the people and not in
the presence of representatives of the people."
Green Book ideology rejects Western-style democracy and predatory
capitalism, especially neoliberal exploitation. It's one of many
reasons why Gaddafi was ousted.
His impressive social benefits also included free land, equipment,
livestock and seeds for agriculture to foster self-sufficient food
production. In addition, all basic food items were subsidized and
sold through a network of "people's shops."
Moreover, since the 1960s, women could vote and participate
politically. They could also own and sell property independently of
their husbands. Under the December 1969 Constitutional Proclamation
Clause 5, they had equal status with men, including for education
and employment, even though men played leading roles in society.
Until Washington and rogue NATO partners blocked its approval, the
UN Human Rights Council praised Gaddafi in its January 2011 "Report
of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Libya Arab
It said his government protected "not only political rights, but
also economic, educational, social and cultural rights." It also
lauded his treatment of religious minorities, and "human rights
training" of its security forces.
Throughout most of 2011, NATO's killing machine destroyed 42 years
of achievements. All Libyans benefitted. Why else did Gaddafi have
His vision marked him for removal. It was just a matter of when,
even though he cooperated with Western powers post-9/11 on matters
of intelligence and terrorism.
Until vilified and targeted, he was welcomed in Western capitals. In
2003, he came in from the cold, became a valued Western ally, and
had meetings and discussions with top officials like UK Prime
Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, France's Nicolas Sarkozy,
Italy's Silvio Berlusconi, US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice,
He also participated in the 2009 G-8 Summit in L'Aquila, Italy as
Chairman of the African Union. At the time, he met and shook hands
Moreover, ABC News interviewed him live, and on January 21, 2009,
The New York Times published his op-ed headlined, "The One-State
Solution" to resolve the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. He called
"living under one roof....the only option for a lasting peace."
On May 16, 2006, Washington restored full diplomatic relations.
Libya was removed from its state sponsors of terrorism list. At the
time, Rice called the move:
"tangible results that flow from the historic decisions taken by
Libya's leadership in 2003 to renounce terrorism and to abandon its
weapons of mass destruction programs....Libya is an important model
as nations around the world press for changes in behavior by the
Iranian and North Korean regimes."
She also praised Gaddafi's "excellent cooperation" in fighting
terrorism. Moreover, he opened Libya's markets to Western interests
by arranging deals with Big Oil giants BP, ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch
Shell, Occidental, France's Total, Italy's Eni Gas and others. By
all appearances, he joined the club, so why turn on him?
Though on board in some ways, he very much wasn't on others. He
supported Palestinian rights. As a result, he opposed Israel's
occupation and Gaza's siege.
Earlier he backed South Africa's anti-apartheid struggles, as well
as others in Northern Ireland, Spain, and elsewhere.
He opted out of AFRICOM's imperial regional plan. He wanted Libyans
to control their own resources and use revenues domestically for all
Libyans. His Central Bank of Libya was state owned. It created its
own money interest-free for economic growth, not speculation and
wealth for predatory bankers.
He promoted pan-African unity, an idea anathema to Washington and
Western powers. He advocated a new "Gold Standard," replacing
dollars with gold dinars, and hoped other African and Muslim states
would adopt the idea. That alone got him targeted for removal.
He had nothing to do with downing Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie,
Scotland in 1988. Neither did Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi. Scottish
judges knew he was innocent but were pressured to convict.
Gaddafi never admitted fault. He took responsibility solely to have
international sanctions removed. To this day, he and al-Megrahi
stand falsely accused. Likely CIA /MI6/and/or Mossad involvement is
A Final Comment
Libyan Investigators have legitimate credentials as human rights
supporters. Organizations like PCHR do extraordinary work. They
deserve praise, encouragement and help.
Their report highlighted international crimes, need for more
investigation, and prosecutions for those responsible.
It expressed concern for ongoing abuses in detention, mistreatment
of foreign workers, and forced displacements of suspected Gaddafi
loyalists. It called for measures to stop ongoing crimes.
Nonetheless, it wrongfully said "Libya is emerging from 42 years of
authoritarian rule and governance characterized by injustice, the
denial of fundamental human rights, and impunity."
Libya's now repressively occupied. A climate of fear prevails.
Insurgent killers threaten Gaddafi supporters. Silence best protects
them. Nonetheless, Libyans revealed crimes committed by NATO and
rebel rat forces.
However, others condemning Gaddafi appear suspect. Indeed, he had
enemies, but most Libyans supported him with good reason. As a
result, the report tragically falls short. It includes NATO and
insurgent crimes but mischaracterizes Gaddafi's rule.
Hopefully, another mission will follow in less volatile times.
Violence still rages. Little gets reported. Western media scoundrels
entirely suppress it. Libyans deserve better. Their nation was
peaceful until NATO showed up. Now it's destroyed and all previously
enjoyed rights lost.
Mission team members must acknowledge it and point fingers where
In mid-January, 12,000 US troops were positioned in Malta ahead of
occupying Libya. On January 18, Libya SOS said hundreds of American
soldiers already arrived. Libya's Western-appointed foreign minister
said 6,000 came to Tripoli's Mitiga International Airport.
Straightaway, they set up "mobile camps and equipment around oil
fields and refineries." In other words, they're protecting Western
interests, principally oil. Libyans lost their rightful resources
and living standard they afforded.
“Tunis Focus” reports that US forces are in Brega, Ras Lanouf,
Sirte, and Tripoli's Mitiga International Airport. Moreover, US and
NATO helicopters, warplanes, and drones now patrol Libyan airspace.
They're surveilling and attacking suspicious targets.
Ahead lies occupation, neo-colonization, pillaging, exploitation,
violence and repression. It persists wherever America shows up. So
does overwhelming suffering and human misery. Libyans experienced it
for months. Much more lies ahead.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
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