Gaddafi Libya NATO The Law of War War crimes

Colonel Gaddafi captured and killed

Muammar al-Gaddafi 1942-2011. Photo OAU 1975

Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi was reportedly captured and shot dead 20 October. As the evidence below shows the Libyan leader and his son Mutassim were summarily executed by the rebels, sharing the fate of so many Libyans in this conflict.

NATO involvement

NATO have said that a French jet bombed 2 military vehicles in a convoy leaving the area of Sirte at 8.30 am local time. Other reports from the USA suggest a predator drone was involved.  In addition, “Sky sources” claim that the RAF was involved in seriously injuring Saif al-Islam, also in Sirte. Reports suggest that the convoy which attempted to break out of Sirte consisted of around 75 vehicles and most of the occupants were killed, either in the air strikes, by AA guns fired by the rebels or by summary execution after being captured and in some cases put on display.

Captive on display in a thoroughly destroyed Sirte

NATO issued a statement about the incident saying:

At approximately 08h30 local time (GMT+2) on Thursday 20 October 2011, NATO aircraft struck 11 pro-Qadhafi military vehicles which were part of a larger group of approximately 75 vehicles manoeuvring in the vicinity of Sirte.   These armed vehicles were leaving Sirte at high speed and were attempting to force their way around the outskirts of the city. The vehicles were carrying a substantial amount of weapons and ammunition posing a significant threat to the local civilian population.

The convoy was engaged by a NATO aircraft to reduce the threat. Initially, only one vehicle was destroyed, which disrupted the convoy and resulted in many vehicles dispersing and changing direction.

After the disruption, a group of approximately 20 vehicles continued at great speed to proceed in a southerly direction, due west of Sirte, and continuing to pose a significant threat. NATO engaged these vehicles with another air asset. The post strike assessment revealed that approximately 10 pro-Qadhafi vehicles were destroyed or damaged.

At the time of the strike, NATO did not know that Qadhafi was in the convoy. NATO’s intervention was conducted solely to reduce the threat towards the civilian population, as required to do under our UN mandate. As a matter of policy, NATO does not target individuals.

We later learned from open sources and Allied intelligence that Qadhafi was in the convoy and that the strike likely contributed to his capture.

NATO does not divulge specific information on national assets involved in operations.

Human Rights Watch visited the site where Muammar Gaddafi was captured, and found the remains of at least 95 people who had apparently died that day. The vast majority had apparently died in the fighting and NATO strikes prior to Gaddafi’s capture, but between six and ten of the dead appear to have been executed at the site with gunshot wounds to the head and body.

The death of Muammar Gaddafi

Video evidence shows Muammar Gaddafi was alive, although perhaps injured, when captured and surrounded by a rebel mob:

The last words of Colonel Gaddafi on the video were “This is wrong, this is against Islamic law,” and then he said to his abusers: “Do you know right from wrong?”

More mobile phone footage makes it clear that he has been shot shortly after he was captured. This graphic footage shows him wiping the blood from his eye:

And this footage, taken on another phone, shows a gun being brandished in Muammar Gaddafi’s face:

Now new footage shows the scene of the leader’s last moments and those on the scene more clearly:

Yet more horrific footage:

New video shows a clearer view of the whole scene:

Other footage shown on the International Business Times site indicates that Gaddafi was sodomised with an object shortly after being captured.

Muammar Gaddafi’s body was taken to Misrata. It has become pretty standard practice for the rebels to kill their prisoners, particularly those with darker skin, a trend set in the early days when prisoners were massacred and the crime blamed on loyalist forces to provide propaganda for a NATO intervention. Evidence seems to be emerging about the precise motivations for the killers, including a claim (which hasn’t been verified) by rebel Samad Al Saleh Al Arabi ( (Sanad al-Sadek al-Ureibi?) to have shot Gaddafi after disagreeing with the decision to take him to Misrata.

Rebel eyewitnesses in Sirte claimed to Sky News that they shot Gaddafi in the stomach with a 9mm revolver. The late assertion by the NTC that Gaddafi was killed by a shot to the head during a firefight between the rebels and his supporters after he had been loaded onto a vehicle on the way to hospital is typical of the attitude of the rebels toward the truth.

Mutassim Gaddafi alive after capture

Muammar’s son, Mutassim Gaddafi was captured at the same time as his father and video shows him still alive after capture, drinking water and smoking a cigarette:

and also in this video:

NTC statements regarding Mutassim’s death

On the death of Mutassim the Mahmoud Jibril said:

“As for Mutassim there is a wound in the head and a break in the skull and five bullets in the back and one in the neck.”

Mohamed Leith, an NTC field commander, told AFP:

“We found him dead. We put his body and that of (former defence minister) Abu Bakr Yunis in an ambulance to take them to Misrata,”

Here is graphic video footage showing Mutassim’s body after he was killed, with rebels celebrating. There is a serious wound to his upper chest which was not there in the earlier video:

The abuse of corpses

Muammar Gaddafi’s body was later filmed being dragged through the streets of Misrata and then put on display in a supermarket freezer in Misrata for people to photograph with their mobile phones. This is a familiar scene for those who have watched earlier rebel atrocities, some documented by HRI, such as the lynchings at the rebel HQ in Benghazi. others too appalling to show.

The killing of captives and abuse of corpses are war crimes; ones which have been practiced on a large scale by the Libyan rebels, since the beginning of the rebellion, with the full approval and participation of their leadership as we have seen in numerous videos including this one:

According to a rebel commander, the news of her father’s death was broken to Aisha Gaddafi in the following fashion:

‘Aisha called her father’s satellite phone and one of the revolutionaries who had captured him answered her, he said, “It’s over. Abu Shafshufa died.”‘ (Abu Shafshufa being an insulting term with various translations including old crazy hair, old fuzzhead or old afro hair).

(update 25/10) The bodies of Muammar Gaddafi, Mutassim Gaddafi and Abu Bakr Younis were removed from the market where they had been displayed on Tuesday 25th and reportedly buried at night in a secret, unmarked grave in the desert, much against the laws of Islam – but in accordance with Libyan rebel practice.

The laws of War

Under Rule 47. Attacking persons who are recognized as hors de combat is prohibited.
A person hors de combat is:
(a) anyone who is in the power of an adverse party;
(b) anyone who is defenceless because of unconsciousness, shipwreck, wounds or sickness; or
(c) anyone who clearly expresses an intention to surrender; provided he or she abstains from any hostile act and does not attempt to escape.

Regarding the treatment of dead bodies:

Rule 115. The dead must be disposed of in a respectful manner and their graves respected and properly maintained. [IAC/NIAC]

In the case of Muammar and Mutassim Gaddafi the bodies should be treated with respect, in accordance with Islamic custom.

Reaction of human rights bodies

Amnesty International and the United Nations Human Rights Office have said that it is essential to conduct a full, independent and impartial inquiry to establish the circumstances of Colonel al-Gaddafi’s death but the current international practice, of course, is one law for NATO’s adversaries and no law for NATO and its proxies.

It has been reported that, according to Mahmoud Jibril the International Criminal Court initially asked that one of its forensic investigators be allowed to examine Muammar’s body but then decided to accept the post-mortem report provided by the NTC.

Hillary Clinton the US Secretary of State, in imperious mood, reportedly quipped “We came, we saw, he died.”

Lessons for human rights activists

The barbaric deaths of Muammar and his son at the hands of the NATO-backed rebels are only a surprise to those who have depended on the mainstream media and the NATO propaganda machine for their information on this conflict.

There needs to be a full inquiry by human rights activists into how the media, people across the political spectrum and humanitarian organisations were hijacked into supporting or remaining silent in the face of the NATO bombing campaign, the ethnic cleaning and atrocities committed against black people and the subversion of democratic, civilised discourse which the Libyan conflict marks.

(updated 21,22,23,24,25,27 October)

21 replies on “Colonel Gaddafi captured and killed”

The corporate media is going into paroxysms over the supposed death of Muammar Gaddafi without much evidence beyond a couple blurry video captures taken from a cell phone.

So far, there has been zero independent verification of the claim. The NTC – otherwise known as al-Qaeda – said earlier today it has whisked off the body to a secret location for “security reasons.”

Despite the lack of evidence, the corporate media is now accepting Gaddafi’s death as fact. This is the same media that accepted the unconfirmed death of Osama bin Laden and told us Saddam had aluminum tubes of mass destruction.

Amazing. In the second video voices in Spanish can be heard: Dadle! Dadle! ?Quieres que lo fusilen? Some of the “rebels” were most likely Colombian mercenaries (they use the word “carro”, the Latin word for car/coche in Spain)…

The “so called” Rebels should know that their faces are “now” sampled, and there is very good software for face recognition on the market. They wont come far, they have to hide but there is no place to hide, they wont be able to sleep in the light of their outrages and soon the day will come to face their deserved punishment.

The history of Osama bin Laden bears no resemblance to that of the great leader, Muammar Gaddafi. OBL was a CIA asset and he died in Tora Bora in November of 2001, as Benazir Bhutto reported before her assassination. Of course his latest death was a fabrication set up to deflect public attention away from the murder of Aisha Gaddafi’s husband and child and 2 other members of the Gaddafi family a few days prior. Also of note is not one member of that SEAL team is alive. Dead men can’t talk.

The murder of Muammar and Mu’tassim are crimes that must be investigated and indictments must be issued from bodies uncorrupted. I hold out no hope for the UN or the ICC.

It doesn’t help the Libyan resistance or the cause of human rights and justice to deny the crimes.

In fact to persist after much evidence has come in to verify, is to place yourself in the same company as the holocaust deniers. Don’t even go there. We are witnessing a mass genocide. We must do everything in our power to stop it.

Anything we can do to expose NATO’s crimes in Libya is worth doing. That has to be the focus.

We as an international community need to ask what other options there are to the UN-ICC for prosecutions. I know of several initiatives currently preparing cases, but where can they be presented where they will be fairly tried? Even Aisha Gaddafi’s case was thrown out of the French courts.

I would like HRI to look into this report sent to me on facebook. It is unverified, but if true, must be exposed and stopped.

“All ID and birth records of indigenous Libyans are being deleted by the NTC. There are thousands of people from the UAE and other nations behind the plot against Libya applying for citizenship. This is setting the stage for genocide and occupation by traitor Arabs and European colonizers.”

If there is any truth this has to be exposed BEFORE it happens and stopped.

Thanks for your top notch work.

Elsa on behalf of Libya360°

“Every man’s death diminishes me…Never send to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.” John Donne.

I and very many peace loving people the world over are very horrified and saddened by the mistreatment of Libya’s fallen leader. whatever his crimes, there is no excuse for this NATO, NATO should also not try to place the blame for the horror on the NTC alone; they fought together to oust Gaddafi. What a shame for Sarkozy, Obama and Cameron and Hilary Clinton to celebrate the abuse of any man to his death in broad daylight. Truly the 4 have lost their credibility as world leaders. What a shame for the media ‘pundits’ as they call themselves for broadcasting a snuff/slasher movie to the whole world.

Regarding the new people coming to Libya; there are reports from people in Libya that most people in towns taken over by NATO and NTC were removed from their homes, held in camps, fed tinned food and re-registered/investigated. That means; in order to go back to your home, you have to gain permission from the NTC and NATO. After all the death, people will also lose the right to their own homes and jobs! Already in the news, in Misrata people who fled the war are being stopped from going back to their homes and jobs. So then, NATO and NTC hope to re-create Libya with a new population of Colombian drug cartel members, Qatari hoodlums, and Iraqi street fighters. As we all know, former prisoners of Guantanamo Bay will lead them. History will tell who is on the side of right but we have some clues now.

a giant tree has fallen. Woe to africans. Am only concern about the oil in libya. Libyan don’t let this whites rhesus to take your oil from you . Fuck you NATO-ICCI and the so called force who has got something to do with colonel gaddafi. May his soul rest in perfect peace if only what rumors have is truth. BUt beware you murderers of sadam husain, osama bin ladin gaddafi and the rest. God is watching.

[…] sobre derechos humanos (HRI) 1 – La responsabilidad de proteger: la liberación de Sirte ; 2 – Coronel Gaddafi capturados y asesinados ; 3 – Sarkozy, Cameron, Obama, Al Thani y el sufrimiento de los hijos de Sirte ; 4 […]

While reading this article I really got enraged again. It’s out of all reasons how humans can be that cruel, brutal and disgusting. Even there are rumours that Muammar Gaddafi is still alive and that this dead body was the corpse of his double Ali Majid Al Andalous – there is no excuse for those “methods of torture and execution”.
Motassim was alive and was in need of medical treatment before they put him to death, as well as Saif Al-islam (still) needs medical treatment in Zintan.
Muammar Gaddafi (or his double) was shown alive before they murdered him and they didn’t even give him the chance to get a trial.
Those cold-blooded murderers are far away from any civilized world and don’t deserve the respect of any country.
I hope that one day they will be called to account for their evil deeds – even by judgement from above!
Everyone should have compassion for the bereaved family – coz I can’t imagine if it’s more horrible to be tortured and martyred or to watch how ur relatives are brutally murdered without a chance to demand justice.
Furthermore I’m sure that no one would like to see his private property (like family albums, homes, credit cards and all other private affairs) “sold on the open market” and accessible to the whole world.
It bears repeating that those inhumanity has to be denounced and punished.

In reading the NATO report I was confused by the stateent:– “These armed vehicles were leaving Sirte at high speed and were attempting to force their way around the outskirts of the city. The vehicles were carrying a substantial amount of weapons and ammunition posing a significant threat to the local civilian population.”
Kindly ask NATO to explain how members of a convoy “leaving Sirte” posed any threat at all to the “local civilian population.” To the extent that the convoy was recognized as “leaving” so to was the “threat to the local civilian population”.

How is it that when a dysfunctional nation’s various ‘warlords’ decide to tear each other and their country to pieces – that this is somehow our fault – here in the West?
It is extremely difficult to ‘impose’ democracy and democratic culture onto people’s who have never known them.
Especially with people who have still not yet fully come to terms with modernity.
It worked with the Japanese and the Germans – but then they were already cohesive nations – and not simply a collection of fractious tribes.
Don’t blame us for Libya’s shortcomings!

I don’t understand why everything is always so chaotic with these people….You can barely even see what’s going on….just pure chaos and yelling all the time

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.