January 26, 2012

Libyan detainees die after torture, says Amnesty International

Libya's former rebels gather at a checkpoint near a mosque, outside Bani Walid on January 2012 Rebels have reportedly been expelled from ex-Gaddafi stronghold Bani Walid
Several people have died after being tortured by militias in Libyan detention centres, humanitarian group Amnesty International has said.
It claimed to have seen patients in Tripoli, Misrata and Gheryan with open wounds to their head, limbs and back.
Meanwhile, charity Medecins Sans Frontieres has suspended operations in Misrata after treating 115 patients with torture-related wounds.
The UN says it is concerned about the conditions in which patients are held.
"The torture is being carried out by officially recognised military and security entities as well as by a multitude of armed militias operating outside any legal framework," a spokesman for London-based Amnesty said.
"After all the promises to get detention centres under control, it is horrifying to find that there has been no progress to stop the use of torture," Donatella Rovera, from the charity, said.
Medecins Sans Frontieres said it was being "exploited" as some patients were being brought to them between interrogation sessions.
"Our role is to provide medical care to war casualties and sick detainees, not to repeatedly treat the same patients between torture sessions," said general director Christopher Stokes.
More than 8,500 detainees, most of them accused of being Gaddafi loyalists, are being held by militia groups in about 60 centres, according to UN human rights chief Navi Pillay.
"The lack of oversight by the central authority creates an environment conducive to torture and ill treatment," she said.
"My staff have received alarming reports that this is happening in places of detention they have visited."

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