Gaddafi Forces Occupy Hospital, Terrify Patients and Staff

HRW (Tunis) – Libyan government forces mistreated medical staff and patients during an unlawful six-week occupation of a hospital in Yafran, a town in Libya’s western mountains, Human Rights Watch said today.

Government forces placed about 30 staff and three patients at grave risk by preventing them from leaving and deploying military weapons in the hospital compound, Human Rights Watch said. The failure to respect and protect the hospital violated international humanitarian law.

“Occupying a hospital and terrorizing the patients and staff is illegal and inhumane,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “To minimize the horrors of war, hospitals need to be kept free of fighters, and doctors and nurses need to be assured of their safety.”

HRWGovernment forces occupied Yafran General Hospital from April 19, 2011, until the beginning of June. By then most Yafran residents had fled the town, following at least two weeks of government shelling. The approximately 30 doctors and nurses at the hospital, most of them Bangladeshi or Ukrainian, remained largely because they did not feel safe enough to leave. Three patients were also unable to leave due to their medical conditions.

Hospital staff told Human Rights Watch that the hospital was initially occupied by a paramilitary group known as Haras al-Shabi (the Civil Guard), which had engaged in looting after it captured Yafran on April 18. A doctor told Human Rights Watch that the Civil Guard aggressively entered the hospital and broke down locked doors in a fruitless search for rebel fighters. He said he saw the soldiers beat a wounded Egyptian worker they had found in the intensive care unit. “We were astonished how they dealt with him,” the doctor said.

The Civil Guard refused to let the hospital staff leave, the hospital workers said. Over the course of six weeks, the hospital staff primarily treated injured Libyan government forces. Hospital workers described a climate of fear from abuses and threats by the Civil Guard.

One of the patients who was getting medical care at the hospital when the Civil Guard arrived said the fighters entered his room and threatened to torture him and shoot him if he left the hospital. “They did that all the time,” he said. “I was scared that one of them would come back at nighttime and shoot me, so sometimes I would change which bed I slept in.”

In May, the Civil Guard arrested a nurse, who was then detained for more than three weeks, including time in Tripoli’s Abu Salim prison, and on occasion was tortured. “They told me they captured me because I had treated rebel fighters at the hospital,” the nurse told Human Rights Watch.

Witnesses said the Civil Guard moved military weapons into the hospital compound, including automatic weapons, machine guns, and anti-aircraft weapons. One doctor said that three large-caliber weapons were positioned in the compound: one at the front gate, one next to the kitchen, and one near the main entrance. Human Rights Watch viewed a video filmed by a medical worker on his cell phone in late April that showed a high-caliber machine gun mounted on a jeep in the hospital compound.

In late April or early May, at least 14 soldiers from the army’s Reda Brigade assumed control of the hospital from the Civil Guard. The treatment of medical workers and patients improved with the arrival of the regular armed forces, hospital staff said, but food and water remained in short supply. The soldiers gave the staff and patients two cups of water a day, as well as rice in the morning and pasta in the evening. The army allowed the nurses and doctors to leave the compound with permission, they said, but they could not go far because of the government forces in town. The Reda Brigade soldiers mainly had small arms, but a doctor said that one day in mid May they twice fired high-caliber machine guns from the hospital gate at an unknown target.

Human Rights Watch found about two dozen 7.62 mm bullet casings, which are used in AK-47 assault rifles, in various parts of the hospital grounds, including one in a position overlooking the hospital entrance. Medical staff said they had already removed other bullet casings from the grounds. The glass doors at the hospital’s entrance and the exterior gate had bullet holes, apparently from fighting between government and anti-government forces in the beginning of June.

Government forces fled Yafran when rebels took the town on June 2. As of June 24 rebel fighters kept three to five armed guards outside the hospital, though they occasionally went inside the building with their weapons. The hospital staff, interviewed in private, said they had not experienced any threats or violence from the rebel fighters.

International humanitarian law – the laws of war – applicable in the armed conflict in Libya, provides special protection for hospitals and medical workers. The occupation of the hospital and mistreatment of the medical workers by the government forces violated the duty to respect and protect medical facilities and personnel in all circumstances. It was also unlawful to deploy military weapons in the hospital. Preventing medical workers, who are civilians, from leaving the hospital violated the prohibition against placing civilians at unnecessary risk and may have amounted to “human shielding,” which is a war crime. Specific acts of abuse against medical workers and patients, including arbitrary arrest and physical abuse, are laws-of-war violations that may also amount to war crimes.

“Government forces committed a long list of international law violations in their abusive occupation of Yafran hospital, putting a lot of lives at unnecessary risk,” Stork said. “All parties to Libya’s conflict need to protect, hospitals, medical workers, and patients under all circumstances.”

Witness Accounts from the Hospital

Human Rights Watch visited Yafran General Hospital from June 19 to 24, and interviewed four doctors, six nurses, and a patient present during the hospital’s occupation by government forces. All but one asked that their names not be used because they feared that government forces might return. Human Rights Watch also interviewed in private a captured government soldier who had taken part in the hospital occupation.

A hospital patient in his 40s from the nearby town of Zintan said:

No one could leave the hospital, especially me, since I was locked up inside my room for seven days because I am from Zintan. They threatened that if I went outside my room, they would shoot me. They came to my room with guns. They would shoot from inside the grounds, just outside my window, with a Kalashnikov [AK-47 assault rifle]. They never actually hurt me but they would insult me, threaten me, say they would cut off my ears or my fingers. They did that all the time. I was scared that one of them would come back at nighttime and shoot me, so sometimes I would change which bed I slept in.

A foreign doctor who had brought his family to the hospital for safety after the Civil Guard looted the town told Human Rights Watch:

When the Haras al-Shabi came [to the town], they robbed and destroyed all the homes. We were terrorized. They stole my television, fridge, washing machine, everything. We couldn’t move, leave or sleep. They were in the hospital, and I was afraid they would be violent to our wives and daughters.

A nurse told Human Rights Watch that, on May 1, Civil Guard forces returned to the hospital and took him away. They detained him for 24 days in several places, including in Abu Salim prison in Tripoli, he said, and tortured him during interrogation:

On May 1 three guys from Haras al-Shabi in forest camouflage came to the hospital in a car at 2 p.m. They entered the hospital and asked the military commander for permission to take me out of the hospital for investigation. They said they would then bring me back. They took me to [the nearby town of] al-Milayeb. The second day, they started beating me with iron rods and giving me electric shocks. At night, there were about six people who came and beat me up, punching me, kicking me, hitting me with a stick on my head.

The third day in the morning, they took me and 20 other people in the back of a truck and transferred us to Camp 77 [apparently a training camp for government security forces] in Tripoli. The driver told one of the Haras al-Shabi guys that he had a nurse, so the guy kicked me in my testicles. I was in my green hospital uniform, and one of the Haras al-Shabi guys came to me and started kicking me in the face and in the eyes. My left eye was swollen for seven days. The first two days I couldn’t see, then I started recovering. At 11 p.m. the same day, they transferred us to Abu Salim prison [in Tripoli]. Eventually they told me they captured me because I had treated rebel fighters at the hospital.

A nurse who stayed in the hospital during the military’s occupation explained the atmosphere of intimidation for female hospital staff:

It was Friday [in mid-May] around 3:30 a.m. My friend and I were sleeping in my room. Some person knocked on my door. When I said, “Who is there,” no one answered. We thought maybe it was Bangladeshi nurses, but two men in uniform entered the room, and one of them sat on my bed. We were afraid of these army people because sometimes they did bad things. The way they looked at us around the hospital was not good. Sometimes they said something we didn’t understand, but we knew it was not good. [Afterward] we talked to the director about what happened, and he said that the army commander said sorry and that it would not happen again. He said he had punished the men. We didn’t see those guys after.

Source: Human Rights Watch

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42 Responses to Gaddafi Forces Occupy Hospital, Terrify Patients and Staff

  1. patriot says:

    What a bunch of prapaganda.

    Actually the kaddafist soldiers are really nice, i was enven involved romantically with some.

    They are actually searching the hospital to be sure that there is no rebels in theses. If a personn dosent say that kaddafy is really good, he may be a rebel and must be killed for his own good.

    Did you know that nato doctors want to kill you by giving you diseases like AIDS, Cancer, elephantesis and sore feets. Its true because nato and rebels are evil. The only way to protect yourself from this evilness is to enlist into kaddafy army.

    Sign today in Libyapatriot@Kaddafyarmy.com

    alternatively if you live in a western state you may want apply to the global jihad and kill as many civilian (but Evil civilian that deserve to be killed because they arent muslim) in thoses states.

    Patriot

    And the real one. I knwo that some kids are using my name to post anti kaddafy text but dont hear them, its the real me.

    • Libya says:

      Few days ago, you supported a report commissioned by Amnesty International – with regards of questioning the rape allegation. It is a similar organization to Human Rights Watch.

      Or you only use them when it suits your line of propaganda?

      • admin says:

        That is Fredy masquerading as patriot. Its very unfortunate that we have people who resort to this kind of tactics.

        Patriot, is one of respected posters and though we may differ in our views but he offers the other side of the story.

        • J. Shriner says:

          Dear admin…I’m seeing a ‘re-direct’ of the basic tendency of us who like to think we follow what’s going on to include stuff that makes little sense in light of the struggle that’s gone on within L. for the future to be snatched by those who’d rather ‘kill’ hope than re-grasp victory…I say Fi! The brave of Libya are heroes to we who also *plan* freedom and are stern enough to continue to try to find some truth in each day. Thank you for your continued efforts. I may have a ‘shadow’ which means that all may not be as it seems in some cases. ‘He’ wants to usurp in a very real way on my local situation but I’m not afraid. I wish I knew exactly what *it* may be doing saying so I’ll peruse the posts…rave on brave one(s). L., J. <3

      • Libya says:

        hmmm romantically involved with some of them. Now I know the reasons behind your support for them – Stockholm Syndrome. I am sure you met those nice ones who have already defected from the murderous bloody criminal Daffy regime and joined the freedom fighters. So your ex boyfriends are already fighting with the FF, if they were nice as you pointed out. It is time for you to follow in their footsteps.;

        • J. Shriner says:

          Hee hee Libya…danke. Goooood. ‘nite and prayeers upon the FF and families and friends, all.

  2. Fredy says:

    This report is based on old facts that have already taken place from April 19 to the beginning of June. The rebels got rid of these animals.

    Hi Libya thanks for the Lion of the Desert movie link.
    I learned the movie is based on real facts of the Fascist era in Libya and a teacher who lead the revolt in Libya by the name of Omar Mukhtar.

    He was a very inspiring figure. I had seen his real picture before but I only noticed this man had a heavenly presence and I did not know he was Professor Omar Mukhtar. The man who fought the fascists for 20 years in Libya.

    I read a bit more about Prof. Mukhtar but I did not like the way it was written.
    This was a story of oppression and murder to achieve power. Using the word colonialism made it sound like the Italians went to decorate Libya. When they actually practiced widespread genocide on many Libyans.

    Prof. Mukhtar was given a chance to own a car and a house if he stopped fighting . But he didn’t. He fought until the end of him.

    Allahu Akbar

    • admin says:

      Glad you enjoyed the movie. Yes it was based on real historical facts. But in reality Omar was not a teacher. He was preacher.

    • Libya says:

      I have not read much about his life. I watched the movie and a documentary and read a bit. He is an inspiring figure and he is a symbol of this uprising against the fascist Daffy. Fascism is a concept and Daffy embodies it in its entirety.

      The protesters and freedom fighter of this struggle against Daffy call themselves “the grandchildren of Omar Mukhtar”. They also refer to this uprising as the uprising of Omar Mukhtar.

      I pray that we will be victorious over this tyrant and God help us to be better than him and to be able to built a good country based on justice, freedom and all those good things. Ameen

    • J. Shriner says:

      Fredy? Have you been at the Kool-Aid kiddo? I’m concerned that you’re ‘bent’ is getting warped by whatever headiness is caused by the pauses and changes in the war theater. Please check if you’ve gotten any messages regarding what should be *normal* lately. Ok, that’s all I can do right now. I should be glad to keep seeing you pop up here but it’s been a long strain on many of the at-the-front and now ‘ghostly’ warriors and their families. Many still kidnapped and, of course the deceased are barely buried that were of just a couple-three weeks ago. Slow down buddy or just get some rest….I’ll try to keep after any complete dunderheads from time to time. Sorry if I’ve not been real on-top. I guess if I dropped the mutual ball here I should hope you know that I’m keeping better track than y’all I think. Take care and don’t let all the ‘views’ get to you. I loved your “Blah, blah, blah stuff. Nite. J.

      • Fredy says:

        Maddafi has got to go, but we also have to be on the look out for colonialist NATO and the corrupt TNC. They are evil. Power corrupts.

        Got your messages. Have a good night.

  3. Patriot says:

    I’m starting to fuck with Libya and Fredy and they are going to fall for my trap.
    I will deny everything and accuse Nato of everything my boss Gaddafi does against the rats.

    I am going to scare them by pretending I am recruiting people to join Kaddafi’s army.

    It’s against the law but it does not matter because then we will blame Nato and the rebels. They will have to justify themselves. That way I show I am powerful and loyal to my master Gaddafi the colonel.

    Nobody will notice because I’m smart !

    • patriot says:

      Fredy,
      Your level of intelligence is very low and even if you post pretending to be me you can’t do it.
      Reading the post above shows clearly its you and your stupid violent style.
      You are have gone bankrupty and now you resort to using my name to post your rubbish.

      • J. Shriner says:

        the ‘chatter’ named ‘patriot’ is now and always has been a noodle head…bent on filling the page with his anti-freedom-for-libyans rationale. If he’s not being paid by G. then he should go ask one of the kid’s for big dough. Maybe Aisha would fork over some geese or something. πŸ™‚

        • patriot says:

          Since you are getting it from Sarkozy, you think everybody who posts need to get something.
          Go suck his dick and post what you want.

  4. Fredy says:

    patriot you are starting to reveal yourself .

    You Hypocrite.

  5. admin says:

    Patriot is masquerading as admin.

  6. Fredy says:

    Yes admin. He posted as me too. He started using Fredy the Idiot. But it was not him who came up with the idea he is not so stupid. Somebody else gave him the idea when they impersonated him. He thought it was great.
    Patriot you are a peaceful psychopath. I am like Omar Mukhtar very peaceful too. You love my violent style don’t you. It’s very rebel like.

    Right son of bitch.

    I’m so sorry fag.

  7. patriot says:

    my IQ is really high. Fredy is stupid he even thinks he is a dentist what a lie.
    Just because I am a nobody I am not an idiot. Fredy is impersonating me again admin.

    Fredy is so stupid he said he was sick . I’m going to step over him like I have done on all the news of people killed by Gaddafi. I love death, torture and rape I don’t care.

    My IQ is high. I can manipulate anybody and drive anyone crazy.

    • admin says:

      We all know patriot’s style of writting and its quite obvious its you Fredy masquerading as patriot on most posts that are gibberish.

      Stop your childish behaviour and discuss as a grown up.

      • J. Shriner says:

        *admin*? YOU are now acting like YOU need some rest and a break from the fray of trying to keep order friend. I know you may think that Fredy IS actually the so-called ‘patriot’ but I’m here to tell you that’s untrue. I said ty up top to you because I thought you were revealing something until I read up on both F. and p. Don’t let *it* get to you…The Truth Is Out Here/There (still and probably a lot more that we’ll never have time to find out) but don’t let us turn against each other, this has been such a comfort here…knowing each good-willed person wouldn’t turncoat and believing in the victories as they occur and not arguing against them. That’s what’s happening, the fights AGAINST Victory. Time to get ill. Gak!

        • admin says:

          Things are a bit chaotic here of late. For that, I apologize. On a personal note, there is much truth about what you said about people’s views on this site. Sometimes after hearing so much nonsense and propaganda about NATO colonialism and NTC corruption, people actually start to believe it. I’m afraid some people have actually started to vector off into those directions. Eventually, the war will be won and they’ll see that there is no colonization or corruption from the NTC.

          Thanks for your input.

  8. Fredy says:

    Do you feel my words now patriot ?

  9. Fredy says:

    I’m sorry Libya . I was having fun with this SOB.

    How did young people in Libya learned about Omar Mukhtar if Maddafi prohibits Libyan history lessons ?

    Your country should have a monument of Prof Mukhtar. The movie shows him teaching students. And he was a master in the battlefield.He was brilliant. He had class. Much more than the damned Fascists. That is why I call him Professor. Because of his knowledge , wisdom and high integrity.

    Yes, indeed . There were parts of the movie where the facts were duplicated with current events. The Italians tried to use the rules of the Quran on their favor just like Maddafi called the Nato attacks against him a violation of the 1973 UN resolution.

    We have seen a lot of hardcore stuff in this war. There were some parts of the movie as well that were very graphic. It was too much at times.

    Although Anthony Quinn portrayed Prof. Mukhtar so well the real picture of him is like a heavenly person. I was astounded.

    SOB’S give themselves the right to be subhuman but when they feel our response they complain of violence. I’m sorry patriot and all the fags attacking innocent civilians in Libya and around the world. You are guilty.

    • patriot says:

      Your guilty but you have no concience.

      I see you getting confused and posting like me but using your rubbish words. Only fools will get confused.

      Its quite obvious you have no points to support your injustice war hence resorting to masquerading as me. I am glad a lot of people have their eyes opened now and can’t be fooled by your old propagandas.

      We will win this war and you will be defeated. The will of the Libyan people is stronger than your bombs.

    • patriot says:

      How did young people in Libya “learned”…

      You are obviously a Libyan who couldn’t qualify… a loser in short.

  10. Fredy says:

    patriot we call the rubbish ,garbage, in the US.

    Did the British taught you little dick, what garbage is.

    Rubbish !

    • patriot says:

      Did the British “taught” you…

      Fucked up mind, you are not even US citizen though throughout you pretend to be one. You are just one of the puppets hoping to influence the World into believing their lies.

      You sell your country for few pounds and your hunger. Stupid muthafuka.

  11. patriot says:

    little dick hahahahahhahaha.
    You must take dick enhancement meds.

  12. patriot says:

    I beg your pardon is not dick that’s violent. It’s penis.

  13. Fredy says:

    I am having fun masquerading as patriot.

    • an other user says:

      Actually, me too.

      Especially when he cries after that.

    • JoeBlow says:

      Its been fun watching you two whining bitches claw at each other when it was actually someone else that put in the first blow.

      I’d say you both have been punked, but I am sure the doctor already told you that when he slapped you upside the head, thinking it was your ass, on the day you were born.

      • Christine says:

        Hahahaha! My thoughts likewise πŸ™‚ These two needs to get a room and stop displaying their public affection unless they both have the restrain to sort out their disagreement in a more civilised manner.

        • Libya says:

          Hi there – I have not seen your comments for a while – I thought you had enough with this site.

        • Fredy says:

          You uppity bitch, go back to YouTube and post some more videos of sucking cocks at night like your hero Paris Hilton.

  14. J. Shriner says:

    Other than that Mrs. (Libyan) Lincoln, how’d you like the plague? Grrrrr! Y’all are turning my stomach…but other than that, keep the faith. Mebbe, or maybe better without ye. Screech, caw caw, eleven.

  15. Fredy says:

    Oh patriot. Oh patriot.

    You have decided to make did website a mess.

    Now you impersonate J. Shriner.

    Next thing you are going to impersonate Christine and you are going to make us all horny you fag. You wish you homo. Put yourself some make up and silicon.

    You are an impersonation of who you don’t want to be patriot.

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