Amnesty tells of torture killings by Kadhafi forces

1st September 2011, Comments 0 comments

Forces loyal to Moamer Kadhafi left 19 detainees to die of suffocation in metal containers in the desert heat of northwest Libya, Amnesty International charged on Thursday.

The London-based rights group, basing its report on testimony of survivors, said 29 people were imprisoned in two cramped cargo containers on June 6 at a construction site in Khoms, 120 kilometres (75 miles) east of Tripoli.

In the blazing heat, the detainees had to drink their own sweat and urine to survive.

"This is obviously appalling and inhumane treatment of a group of people who were mostly civilians," said Diana Eltahawy, North Africa Researcher at Amnesty International, who is currently in Libya.

Amnesty said its team in the country had examined the containers, which had no windows and whose only ventilation came from bullet holes.

"Guards eventually opened the containers late in the afternoon on 6 June, and the 11 survivors were transferred to other detention centres in Tripoli. They were freed on 21 August, and one later died of kidney failure," it said.

Amnesty said the whereabouts of the bodies remained unknown.

Abdel Rahman Moftah Ali, 24, was the only survivor of the smaller of the two containers and watched his fellow inmates die in front of him, Amnesty reported.

"Foam was coming out of some people's mouths. I saw my cellmates drop to the ground and become motionless one by one. I think I fell and hit my head. Eventually I regained consciousness... It was a day from hell," he said.

© 2011 AFP

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