Pro-Qaddafi Forces and Rebels Committed War Crimes
The United Nations concluded on March 2, 2012 that both pro-Qaddafi forces and rebels committed war crimes during the Libyan conflict last year.
In a report of the International Commission of Inquiry on Libya, the UN determined that pro-Qaddafi forces committed crimes against humanity, defined as the most serious attacks on human dignity and human rights.
According to the commission, “Acts of murder, enforced disappearance, and torture were perpetrated within the context of a widespread or systematic attack against a civilian population.” Rebel forces were found to have breached human rights and international law, but not to have committed crimes against humanity.
PHR documented war crimes in Libya during last year's conflict in two detailed reports on war crimes in Misrata and Tripoli, and continues to call for justice and accountability in Libya for all perpetrators of mass atrocities.
PHR is encouraged by the United Nations’ recent findings, and hopes that the conclusions of this independent commission will spur serious discussions both nationally and internationally about how to best ensure accountability and justice for all Libyans.
Confirmation that pro-Qaddafi forces committed crimes against humanity is an important step in securing justice for Libya’s citizens. Current Libyan authorities and the international community must act upon these findings to ensure perpetrators are held accountable.