Kadhafi forces behind 'disappearances': Amnesty

29th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

Forces loyal to Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi are behind a wave of disappearances of opposition activists, with several teenagers among those missing, rights group Amnesty International said.

The London-based group listed 30 cases where it said political activists and those suspected of either being rebel fighters or their supporters had gone missing.

The disappearances had begun even before the protests in Libya turned into an armed uprising, said Amnesty in a 10-page briefing paper, "Libya: Detainees, disappeared and missing" on Monday.

Those picked up included a journalist, a well-known blogger, a Libyan army colonel who had been posting on the Internet about rights abuses, two 14-year-old schoolboys and several other teenagers, said the report.

Some were arrested at home in front of their families, while others had simply gone missing.

"It appears that there is a systematic policy to detain anyone suspected of opposition to Colonel Kadhafi's rule, hold them incommunicado, and transfer them to his strongholds in western Libya," said Amnesty's Malcolm Smart.

"Given the circumstances of their enforced disappearance there is every reason to believe that these individuals are at serious risk of torture and ill-treatment," added Smart, the group's Middle East director.

"Colonel Kadhafi must halt this outrageous campaign and order his forces to abide by international law."

© 2011 AFP

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