Human Rights Watch: End Indiscriminate Attacks in Western Mountain Towns

HRWBetween April 26th and May 1s 2011, Human Rights Watch interviewed more than 50 refugees who have fled the Western/Nafusa mountains region to Tunisia. They speak of indiscriminate attacks on civilians, homes, schools and mosques. Human Rights Watch have called on Libyan forces to cease these attacks immediately. While Gaddafi’s regime prevents Human Rights Watch from independently verifying their stories, they all gave consistent and credible accounts.

The refugees said that government attacks from the outskirts of Nalut, Takut, and Zintan had damaged mosques, water facilities, homes, and a school, as well as landed outside two hospitals. The refugees said they had not seen rebel fighter activity or other military targets in the areas that were attacked.

According to the United Nations, by May 4 more than 44,000 Libyan refugees had crossed into Tunisia through the Dehiba crossing since April 7. More than 149,000 people had fled to Tunisia in total.

One Libyan refugee in Tunisia, Abdel Wahed T. (not his real name), 32, told Human Rights Watch how a government attack on his home in Zintan killed four relatives.

Abdel Wahed said that at the time of evening prayer on April 24, what he called a “rocket” landed next to his house in the residential neighborhood of Fra’een, which he said had not been used by rebel fighters. “I was at home, and we were listening to the ‘Grads,'” he said, using the term most refugees used for government-fired munitions. “My relatives were sitting on the floor in the house, and four of them died [when the munition hit].” The victims were Mohamad Ahmad ‘abd al-Salam, 76, Fajir al-Ma’aloul, in her 50s, Abd al-Rahman Mohamad al-Mehdi, 90, and Marwan abu Bakar Rmadi, 88.

Abdel Wahed said that he rushed to help after the munition struck and, at that moment, a secondary explosion scorched his face and caused other injuries. He was taken to the Zintan hospital where he stayed for several days, he said, but was forced to leave at 6:30 a.m. on April 27 after government-fired munitions landed outside the hospital. “Two rockets landed right in front of the hospital… and one of the nurses injured her hand,” he said. “My brother then took the car and brought me here to Tunisia.”

Human Rights Watch interviewed Abdel Wahed at the Tataouine hospital in Tunisia, where he was being treated for shrapnel in his left foot and both hands, two wounds on his chest, and first-degree burns on his face. Abdel Wahed said that the blast also injured an elderly male relative and a two-year-old girl, both of whom came with him to Tunisia for treatment.

Dr. Derza Moncef, director for emergency services at Tataouine Hospital in Tunisia, about 100 kilometers from Dehiba, said the hospital had treated at least five Libyan refugees every day since April 7, including for burns, shrapnel wounds, and broken bones. The hospital had seen Libyan children and some elderly who were malnourished and dehydrated, he said.

Under international humanitarian law applicable in Libya, all sides to the conflict are prohibited from targeting civilians and civilian objects or conducting attacks that do not discriminate between civilians and combatants, Human Rights Watch said. Forces must take all feasible precautions to minimize the harm to the civilian population, including avoiding deploying in populated areas and ensuring all targets are military objectives.

The rest of the article gives more detailed accounts from other refugees and towns such as Nalut and Takut. Read it here.

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32 Responses to Human Rights Watch: End Indiscriminate Attacks in Western Mountain Towns

  1. patriot says:

    Stories of these so called anonymous people are many…99% are fabricated.
    Read below:

    The pack of lies.

    Indeed, the same London Telegraph now dashing across their headlines “Britain and America have rained missiles on Libya as Col Muammar Gaddafi defied the world and continued to attack civilians,” told us in the early stages of the US-backed Libyan unrest that Qaddafi had fled to Venezuela, citing “credible Western intelligence sources.”

    Of course, evidence that Qaddafi has been “attacking civilians” has not yet been produced in any shape form or way with US Department of Defense’s Robert Gates and Admiral Mullen in fact, both confirming “We’ve seen no confirmation whatsoever.” Additionally, BBC made an apparently little read footnote that their reports were impossible to verify.

    BBC states in their article “The difficulty of reporting from inside Libya:” “The BBC and other news organisations are relying on those on the ground to tell us what’s happening. Their phone accounts – often accompanied by the sound or gunfire and mortars – are vivid. However, inevitably, it means we cannot independently verify the accounts coming out of Libya. That’s why we don’t present such accounts as “fact” – they are “claims” or “allegations”.

    Apparently “claims” and “allegations” are all the UN needed to rubber stamp yet another globalist war of conquest as they continue to sew together their one world government.

    http://www.activistpost.com/2011/03/libya-another-war-another-pack-of-lies.html

    • a says:

      Of course, evidence that Qaddafi has been “attacking civilians” has not yet been produced in any shape form or way with US Department of Defense’s Robert Gates and Admiral Mullen in fact, both confirming “We’ve seen no confirmation whatsoever.”

      Saif confessed it on TV, claiming they only bombed ammunition bunkers in Benghazi. And there were these Libyan planes that defected to Malta, because the pilots did not want to bomb Libyans. So.

    • just one person in england says:

      Of course, evidence that Qaddafi has been “attacking civilians” has not yet been produced in any shape form or way with US Department of Defense’s Robert Gates and Admiral Mullen in fact, both confirming “We’ve seen no confirmation whatsoever.” Additionally, BBC made an apparently little read footnote that their reports were impossible to verify.

      I think that somebody is probably taking quotes out of context here. Do you have a direct link to an authoritative article with the full context of this quote please?

      My recollection is that when Robert Gates and Admiral Mullen have said: “We’ve seen no confirmation whatsoever.” They were actually talking about Gadafy TV unsubstantiated claims that NATO strikes were killing civilians.

      • a says:

        As I remember it, this was about Libyan planes bombing Benghazi in the beginning of the conflict, which lead to the No-Fly-zone. I found this:

        http://www.defense.gov/transcripts/transcript.aspx?transcriptid=4777

        But Patriot tried to twist this as the answer to “does/did Gaddafi attack civilians” in his rant above. So, nice try.

        • patriot says:

          Question to Mr a.

          A civilian holding a gun and firing against Libyan army can still be counted as civilian?

          Just because this rag tag rebel army doesn’t have uniforms doesn’t mean it can’t be targeted. Real civilians are very much ok. If you ask as statistician on the extent of the fight and the number of collateral injuries caused by the fight, he will tell you its very low.

          Do you know US killed how many civilians in Iraqi during the so called war fo “Weapons of Mass Destruction”? Here I am not mentioning the 4.7 million refugees created by this Invasion and the number killed in post-invasion violences.

          Stop this bullshit propaganda, it only works on your puppets!

          • a says:

            Well, the civilian does that because the regular army attacked him as a citizen, because he wanted democracy. It is the inhabitants of cities defending them against an agressor, which happens to be their own dictator. The casualties are men, women, children. You do not want to say they are all rebels with guns. This is no way for a government to deal with the hopes and ideas of its own people. A government has the duty to protect its citizens, not to shoot at them.

            I know how many people died in Iraq, and I do not approve of that war. But we were not talking about Iraq, but about Libya, and your false claims.

          • a says:

            And I do not own puppets.

          • a says:

            If you want to take a look at how a reasonable government deals with a big unrest, look at Tunisia, or Egypt. Or the German Democratic Republic dictatorship in 1989, which kind of vanished, though it had a much better army than Libya and the Stasi secret police.

            Or take a look at France in 1968, where there was a general strike of the workers, and huge demonstrations and occupations of the students, and the government was about to fall. There were hard clashes with police, many injured, and at one point there was even the rumour – – rumour! – that De Gaulle had commanded the army to Paris. But he would never have opened fire at the protestors. Had he done this, he would have been history the next day. But the outcome was, that the strikes ended, he even won the next election, and reforms and change came afterwards, peacefully. Gaddafi has made a mistake of historic dimensions, it is impossible to defend him.

          • patriot says:

            I am forced to write here as Mr a has removed the reply after the end of his comment…LOL…Western Democracy!

            I know for sure Libyan force didn’t fire on civilians who were unarmed. I have seen how the violence was started in Syria by Western agents using proxies to fire on demonstrators and civilians. This way each side thinks its being attacked by the other.

            Its unbelievable how far these “Democratic Western countries” will go to ensure they get what they want.

            Palestinians are killed everyday by Israel, who is saying anything? Israel is taking their land who is saying anything?

            How much is USA supposed to pay for the destruction it caused in Iraqi?

            Why is Israel killing people in other countries using drones and UN is quiet?

            This foolishness has to stop, you can’t fool the World everyday! Why are double standards being applied?

            Are you too blind to see?!!!!!

  2. Fredy says:

    “Under international humanitarian law applicable in Libya, all sides to the conflict are prohibited from targeting civilians and civilian objects or conducting attacks that do not discriminate between civilians and combatants, Human Rights Watch said. Forces must take all feasible precautions to minimize the harm to the civilian population, including avoiding deploying in populated areas and ensuring all targets are military objectives.”

    This is in my opinion a weak statement to the human atrocities being committed against innocent civilians in Libya.

    What is the International humanitarian agency doing , playing the role of referee ?

    The only positive side I see to their assessment is to document Daffi’s indiscriminate targeting of innocent civilians . This might justify Nato taking tougher actions against him and his army and avoid questions from countries like China and Russia that have constantly raised legal questions against Nato.

    • patriot says:

      Before they started bombed Libya using resolution 1973. They should have told us how they used resolution 1441 on Iraqi to bomb it as well and how much money they are making from Iraqi oilfields.

      This is the only reason that qualifies another occupation war — OIL!

  3. Fredy says:

    The State Department News does not make any sense to me whatsoever.

    The US is deeply involved in helping Libyan Rebels after the attack on innocent civilians on Feb 17,2011. Those statements are unclear and if true do not justify our presence in Libya.

    Sounds like bullshit .

    • patriot says:

      Real bullshit.
      Few greed people trading blood for oil.

      • just one person in england says:

        Few greed people trading blood for oil.

        Utter rubbish. If greed for oil was the issue, or neo-colonialism for that matter, European powers could simply have left the dictator to suppress the Libyan people yet again and it would just have been “business as usual”.

        I don’t see what great oil benefit you imagine is gained by intervention that couldn’t have been got, with less trouble and expense, by staying out of it? Sorry, I can’t see any logic in that at all. Libya isn’t the world’s only oil producer or anything like that, and the oil industry isn’t fussy who it does business with.

        • The product would have been unacceptable outwardly, as the despots of the west need their high moral ground for propaganda purposes………..Tada!

          • just one person in england says:

            So buy elsewhere in that case ? I don’t think we are quite so desperate as you suggest. 🙂

          • If I move it through Quatar, is that really buying elsewhere, and is BP currently drilling in the gulf of Sidra….Hmmmmmm

            No weoner you wouldn’t want to take a ship full of freedom fighters past the area….And what the hecky dog is up with shutting down the media in Pakistan…Both said to be free countries……This world is full of sheep. Gaddaffi is counting on that…He’s also counting on the council to work with him in getting rid of witnesses….Younis is guilty of things before the revolution. Gaddaffi would have made sure of that….Tear down the curtains of illusion..Have you killed your gaddaffi soldier today…..

        • patriot says:

          Libya is strategically placed to easily serve Europe and USA compared to the Middle East.

          Libya has PROVEN Oil Reserves that are unmatched by any country.

          Libyan National Oil Corporation is no. 25 among 100 in the entire World. This is not owned by the Western Corporates!!!

          Libya has invested wisely over many years compared to Europe and USA that have spent their money on Wars. All these countries are having deficits in their budgets that can be easily filled by getting Libyan gold reserves and Cheap oil from thre rebels and return sell them their old weapons.

          If you read the name of the operation “Odyssey” you will understand the whole plan, let them kill each other and at the end win by getting cheap oil that is near!!!

  4. Libyan delegates back rebel council
    Representatives from 25 Libyan towns meet for the first time in Abu Dhabi in a show of unity

    Who picked the delegates…………….Oh sinister incompetency under Atlas’s watchfu eye, how long before he allows the heavens to congress with the earth, undoing the efforts and the dreams of a new generation……..If Gaddaffi couldn’t stop the internet revolution, neither can a backwards a-ss council….They just waste life with their petty ways, and they too will be held accountable, even in the tents of their forefathers……..It’s the new way of the world………….

  5. Fredy says:

    Ankh, hi. I think is very good news the Libyan delegates representing 25 towns support the sale of oil by the Transitional Council and are voting in favor of providing advanced weapons to the freedom fighters.

    Daffi’s was talking about some towns in Libya supporting him. Now we see that is not the case. The pressure is on him not on the rebels to find support within Libya.

    • How were the delegates picked, by sitting on the shoulders of Gaddaffis old caste system…..That’s what’s wrong with Obama…..He’s not looking outside the familiar caste…..Not that he doesn’t believe they’re out there, he just demands that the new people meet old standards in order to be taken seriously…..Uhhhhhh, who ends up being the joke….

      • patriot says:

        Western Democracy…
        Were these delegates chosen by votes or handpicked by the puppets? Its stupid even to talk about these being representatives of those towns while the towns haven’t given them mandate to represent them.

  6. “My relatives were sitting on the floor in the house, and four of them died [when the munition hit].” The victims were Mohamad Ahmad ‘abd al-Salam, 76, Fajir al-Ma’aloul, in her 50s, Abd al-Rahman Mohamad al-Mehdi, 90, and Marwan abu Bakar Rmadi, 88.

    All elders died……Hmmmmmmmm, something fishgy going on, and the press isn’t trustworthy enough to explore it…..we are all in a world of shyytttt, they have the weaponry, but they’r just people……Discover the plans that are covered by the war….This is about the fourth time the council has said they wil.l take weapons for oil….when any free minded and neighborly country would have extended that humanitarian loan….They let it sit, and come back with the same thing over and over….The money to pay government workers nd troops destroys incentive….It should be strictly for humanitarian use until this is over…Else you create a premature caste system which can only be modeled on the previous one….. And because I see no criticism of the council whatsoever, I challenge that this site is compromised…Who in this crazy world is above criticism…..I’m not seeing democracy in the east.

  7. Who’ dying in Libya, the elite….I think not….How d you know that Gaddaffi’s fam was killed…And why have we heard of noone in Sire taking a stand one way or the other…They’re supposed to be the chosen tribe, but we know noting of them How many of Gaddaffi’s tribe in the eastern assembly…….And that’s the fact jack…..,

  8. Oil payments for the Libyan opposition selling crude oil are being made through a Qatari trust fund in U.S. dollars, a member of the oil and gas support group for Libya said on Monday. “The payments for the Libyan crude are made through a bank account in Qatar and the payment is made in U.S. dollars,” said the oil industry source, who asked not to be identified. “So far around 1 million barrels have been sold at $100 million and the money is used to buy basic commodities like food and other aid,” the source said, speaking on the sidelines of a meeting of Libya opposition tribal councils in Abu Dhabi.
    This would be why the price of oile is going down……..No matter….America the thief….It always pays the cost in other ways…And the desperation of this, says Gaddaffi isn’t the only one falling apart………………….

  9. J. Shriner says:

    The tiresome tirades of a few who post their objections to the council, the FF and the west don’t really deserve point by point refutation. In my opinion this is not the forum for the naysayers as far as the revolution goes. There is *no* doubt that G. has oppressed his people and ‘disappeared’ several thousand…kidnapped many more and killed peaceful protesters all the while robbing the Libyan people and failing to ever bring *any* democracy to Libya. The list goes on of his offenses and those of his inner circle. The defections of diplomats and soldiers speaks for itself. I’m through commenting on the haters.

    • tiresome tirades……..sounds good when you don’t have the truth available…….mthinks the lady doth protest too much……the people demand answers………..there’s no getting around it……….

    • patriot says:

      Why are you talking about the rebels only? What about the others who support the Libyan Government?

      Western Powers were not supposed to take sides in this crisis as they are doing now, but they are taking sides coz this was a pre-planned strategy.

      I feel sorry for the China and Russia who fell for this and are now on the sides barking.

  10. Jack says:

    Calm down everyone! Theres enough OIL and Rebuilding contracts for everyone! 😀

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