UN torture expert looks into Kadhafi allegations

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The UN expert on torture said Wednesday that he was looking into allegations of abuse against Libyan strongman Moamer Kadhafi's regime that have been levelled since unrest erupted in Libya last month.

Juan Mendez, the UN special rapporteur on torture, cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment, declined to give details on the allegations or their origin.

"I am working on allegations that we have received since the disturbances began in Libya, and we have initiated communications together with other special rapporteurs," Mendez told journalists.

"So far at least we have received only allegations against the Kadhafi regime, and these allegations were before the disturbances turned into what some are calling now a conflict of an internal nature," he added.

Mendez explained that the claims coincided more or less with the beginning of the crisis and the "early events".

The International Criminal Court has launched an investigation, which specifically targets eight people including Kadhafi, into the crackdown on demonstrators in Libya and suspected crimes against humanity.

The 47-member UN Human Rights Council, which appointed Mendez, is also opening a probe.

© 2011 AFP

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