Human rights violations in the Libyan civil war
||This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page.
The outbreak of the Libyan civil war has been followed by accusations of human rights violations by the rebel forces opposed to Muammar Gaddafi, the Armed Forces and NATO. The alleged violations include rape, extrajudicial killings, racism, misconduct and bombings of civilians. Alleged human rights violations were committed by all sides during the conflict, including NATO, anti-Gaddafi forces, and pro-Gaddafi forces.
Libyan Armed Forces 
Claims of systematic shooting at protesters 
Luis Moreno Ocampo, chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, estimated that between 500 and 700 people were killed by Gaddafi's security forces in February 2011, before the rebels even took up arms. "Shooting at protestors was systematic," Moreno-Ocampo stated, discussing the Libyan government's response to the initial pro-democracy demonstrations.
The Libyan government denies that they ordered killings of demonstrators in the early days of the uprising. They say that soldiers acted in self-defense as they were attacked by mobs.
Moreno-Ocampo further stated that during the ongoing civil war, "War crimes are apparently committed as a matter of policy" by forces loyal to Gaddafi. This is further supported by claims of Human Rights Watch, that 10 protesters, who had already agreed to lay down arms, were executed by a government paramilitary group in Bani Walid in May.
In June 2011, a detailed investigation carried out by Amnesty International claimed that many of the allegations against Gaddafi and the Libyan state turned out to either be false or lack any credible evidence, noting that rebels at times appeared to have knowingly made false claims or manufactured evidence. According to the Amnesty investigation, the number of casualties was heavily exaggerated, some of the protesters may have been armed, "there is no proof of mass killing of civilians on the scale of Syria or Yemen," and there is no evidence that aircraft or heavy anti-aircraft machine guns were used against crowds. It also doubted claims from the Western media that the protest movement was "entirely peaceful" and "presented no security challenge."
In July 2011, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi had an interview with Russia Today, where he denied the ICC's allegations that he or his father Muammar Gaddafi ordered the killing of civilian protesters. He pointed out that he is not a member of the government or the military, and therefore has no authority to give such orders. According to Saif, he made recorded calls to General Abdul Fatah, who later defected to the rebel forces, in order to request not to use force against protesters, to which Fatah responded that they are attacking a military site, where surprised guards fired in self-defense.
Allegations of mass rape 
A Libyan psychologist, Siham Sergewa, conducted a survey of refugees in Tunisia and Egypt to document the trauma of the civil war. Nearly 300 women were reported to have been raped. The real number could be much higher, considering the stigma attached to rape victims in Libyan society. Every single woman in the survey who admitted to being raped, said they were raped by Gaddafi's soldiers or militiamen.
However, United Nations war-crimes expert M. Cherif Bassiouni, Human Rights Watch (HRW), Doctors Without Borders and Amnesty International say that they have found no evidence of systematic rape conducted by the Libyan government. Amnesty International's Donatella Rovera said that the Benghazi rebels had knowingly made false claims or manufactured evidence, quoting one example of pristine boxes of Viagra that the rebels said were found inside a totally burned out tank belonging to Gaddafi's troops. This raised serious doubts about the claim that Gaddafi handed out Viagra to his soldiers to enable them to rape more efficiently.
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) collected testimony of eyewitness who reported that Qaddafi forces transformed an elementary school into a detention site where they raped women and girls as young as 14 years old. PHR also reports of honor killings that occurred in response to these rapes.
Use of land mines as a means of war 
HRW has confirmed claims of rebels, that laying land mines is widespread by the Libyan government forces as a means of war. It found them on at least six different locations in Libya, mostly on frontlines of the Gaddafi forces. Among these land mines are not only anti-tank mines, but also anti-personnel mines, which can permanently pose a threat to civilians. 
Shelling of civilian areas 
Gaddafi forces have been accused by human-rights groups of shelling towns with heavy weapons, risking civilian lives indiscriminately. The most accusations refer to the siege of Misrata, accusing Gaddafi forces of targeting hospitals and civilian areas, also using internationally outlawed cluster bombs of Spanish production as ammunition, having risked the lives of civilians.  
Other abuses of non-combatants 
A Human Rights Watch report documents the "unlawful occupation and terror of hospital staff" by pro-Government forces in Yafran in the western mountains, risking the lives of the patients and terrifying the staff contrary to international law.
In August 2011, Physicians for Human Rights released a report documenting severe violations of human rights and evidence of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity in Misrata. Findings included that Qaddafi forces used civilians as human shields, attacked ambulances bearing the Red Crescent, destroyed religious buildings, and intentionally starved civilians. In the same report, PHR gave evidence to violations of medical neutrality, such as attacks on medical facilities, medical transport, and medical workers.
Anti-Gaddafi forces 
Crimes against international humanitarian law 
Execution of prisoners of war 
A group of 15 to 22 Libyan army soldiers captured in Derna were reportedly executed in the village of Martuba, 20 kilometres (12 miles) east of Derna. According to a widely circulated story, the men were claimed to have been "executed by their own officers for disobeying orders".
Murder and torture of injured soldiers 
On 17 February, the Bayda hospital admitted two injured men, one of black complexion, and the other of olive complexion. The men were accused of fighting against the rebels. A hospital doctor claimed that the black man was murdered and hung by an angry mob that had gathered around the hospital. The other injured man was reportedly beaten, shot and returned to the emergency room.
Lootings and beatings 
In four towns in the western mountains captured in June by the opposition, HRW noticed lootings of private property and beatings of alleged Gaddafi sympathizers by rebel forces. The National Transitional Council (NTC) then pledged to hold responsible the causers of the attacks and to prevent such abuses in the future.
Killing of civilians 
During the Battle of Sirte, the rebels killed many civilians, including men, women, and children, while there were also reports of the rebels harassing and stealing from the locals. According to one resident, "The rebels are worse than rats. Nato is the same as Osama bin Laden." According to another local woman, "We lived in democracy under Muammer Gaddafi, he was not a dictator. I lived in freedom, Libyan women had full human rights. It isn't that we need Muammer Gaddafi again, but we want to live just as we did before." A local elderly woman stated "They are killing our children. Why are they doing this? For what? Life was good before!"
NATO airstrikes 
On 9 August, the Libyan government claimed that 85 civilians were killed in NATO airstrikes on the village of Majer near Zliten. A NATO spokesman said that they were targeting four buildings in which nine vehicles were destroyed and that government claim "was not corroborated by available factual information at the site". The Libyan government declared three days of national mourning. Reporters were later taken to a hospital where they saw at least 30 dead bodies including the bodies of at least two young children. The Libyan government claimed that the bodies of others killed in the airstrikes were taken to other hospitals. Neither of these claims were independently verified, although some media outlets came to the conclusion that it seemed more credible than usual that something tragic happened due to the presence of at least 14 bodies at one hospital, including an infant.
Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said a council-mandated investigation of NATO involvement in the Libyan Civil War is essential "given the fact that initially we were led to believe by NATO leaders there are zero civilian casualties of their bombing campaign.". The U.S. and France called Russia's demand for an investigation "a distraction", supporting the claim made by Susan Rice, the U.S. Ambassador: "This is duplicative, it's redundant, it's superfluous and it's a stunt.". According to France's U.N. Ambassador Gerard Araud there were two ongoing investigations of NATO’s actions in Libya, one by a U.N. Human Rights Council which is scheduled to report in March and the second by the International Criminal Court.
Allegations of usage of African mercenaries 
Some journalists have accused human-rights organizations of falsifying  claims, that Gaddafi was using mercenaries from other parts of Africa to attack protesters, however the presence of mercenaries from countries such as Chad, Niger, and Mali has been confirmed by Gaddafi's former Chief of Protocol Nouri Al Misrahi.
Rape of black Africans 
Sudanese refugees from Eastern Libya have reported that a twelve-year-old Sudanese girl was raped by armed men that forced them out of their homes. A Gambian man shown to journalists by anti-Gaddafi forces reported that he had been dragged from his house by three armed men who accused him of being a mercenary of Gaddafi and raped his wife.
Murder of guest workers and black Libyans 
The Chadian government called on coalition forces to protect its citizens in rebel-held areas in Libya. It claimed that dozens had been accused and executed for allegedly being mercenaries in the pay of Gaddafi.
HRW's Peter Bouckaert visited Bayda where 156 supposed mercenaries were being held captive. He reported that these men are actually black Libyans from Southern Libya. He argued that the support of the black southern Libyans for the Gaddafi regime was explicable as Gaddafi fought to counter discrimination against this group in Libyan society. In the same interview, Bouckaert also said that those 156 individuals were released by the rebels less than two weeks after being captured.
Forced expulsion of black families 
Sudanese refugees from Eastern Libya reported that armed men went door to door and forced them to leave their homes.
Murder of unarmed migrant workers 
Killings of unarmed migrant workers by rebels have been described. On 18 April, a British reporter who had just arrived at Benghazi by sea from Misrata described the sufferings of large numbers of migrant workers trapped in Misrata in a broadcast on BBC Radio 4. After mentioning casualties during government forces attack he said about the migrant workers that "…some have also died in clashes with the, err, rebel fighters. They were protesting about the conditions, demanding that they should be repatriated and on a couple of occasions this has led to the rebels opening fire and, err, people dying."
- Shabi, Rachel (19 January 2012). "Nato accused of war crimes in Libya". The Independent. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
- Simons, Marlise; MacFarquhar, Neil (4 May 2011). "Libyan Officials' Arrests Sought by Court in Hague". The New York Times.
- Video (1 July 2011). "Gaddafi's Son: Libya Like McDonald's for NATO – Fast War as Fast Food" (requires Adobe Flash; 0:12:48). RT (via YouTube). Retrieved 11 August 2011.
- "Libya: 10 Protesters apparently executed". Human Rights Watch. 18 August 2011.
- Cockburn, Patrick (24 June 2011). "Amnesty Questions Claim That Gaddafi Ordered Rape as Weapon of War". The Independent (London). Retrieved 3 July 2011.
- "Gaddafi's son: Libya like McDonald's for NATO - fast war as fast food". Russia Today. 1 July 2011. Retrieved 25 October 2011.
- Smith, David (1 July 2011). "Gaddafi's son claims Nato wants deal with Libya". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 29 October 2011.
- "Psychologist: Proof of Hundreds of Rape Cases During Libya's War". CNN. 23 May 2011.
- Krause-Jackson, Flavia; Alexander, Caroline (6 July 2011). "Rape as Weapon of War Is UN Focus". Bloomberg.
- Bassiouni, M. Cherif. "Report of the International Commission of Inquiry To Investigate All Alleged Violations of International Human Rights Law in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya". United Nations Human Rights Council (via Google Docs). Retrieved 3 July 2011.
- Physicians for Human Rights. "Witness to War Crimes: Evidence from Misrata, Libya." https://s3.amazonaws.com/PHR_Reports/Libya-WitnesstoWarCrimes-Aug2011.pdf. Retrieved 2.28.2012.
- Liz Hazelton. "Father slit throats of three daughters in 'honour killing' after they were raped by Gaddafi's troops". Daily Mail. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2031710/Libya-Father-slit-throats-girls-raped-Gaddafis-men.html#ixzz1niGc5pF3. Retrieved 2.28.2012.
- "Government Using Landmines in Nafusa Mountains". Human Rights Watch. 21 June 2011.
- "Government Lays More Mines in Western Mountains". Human Rights Watch. 8 July 2011.
- "Libya: Government Attacks in Misrata Kill Civilians". Human Rights Watch. 10 April 2011.
- "Libya: Rocket Attacks on Western Mountain Towns". Human Rights Watch. 27 May 2011.
- "Libya: Indiscriminate Attacks Kill Civilians". Human Rights Watch. 17 April 2011.
- "Libya: Gaddafi Forces Occupy Hospital, Terrify Patients and Staff". Human Rights Watch. 29 June 2011.
- Smith, Graeme (1 April 2011). "A Rebellion Divided: Spectre of Revenge Killings Hangs Over Eastern Libya". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). Retrieved 22 April 2011.
- Hauslohner, Abigail (23 February 2011). "Among Libya's Prisoners: Interviews with Mercenaries". Time.
- "Libya: Opposition Forces Should Protect Civilians and Hospitals". Human Rights Watch.
- Sherlock, Ruth (2 October 2011). "Gaddafi loyalists stranded as battle for Sirte rages". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 28 October 2011.
- Libya says NATO strike kills dozens of civilians
- NATO: Libya airstrike killed troops, not civilians
- Tripoli says NATO strike kills dozens of civilians
- Turmoil in Benghazi, rebel advances in western Libya
- U.S. and France: No Need for Libya Investigation
- Russia and U.S. clash over NATO bombing probe
- Staff (2 March 2011). "HRW: No Mercenaries in Eastern Libya". Radio Netherlands Worldwide. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
- Fahim, Kareem; Kirkpatrick, David D. (23 February 2011). "In Libya's Capital, Qaddafi Masses Forces". The New York Times.
- Namunane, Bernard (25 February 2011). "Kenya: 'Dogs of War' Fighting for Gaddafi". Daily Nation (via AllAfrica.com). Retrieved 11 August 2011.
- "Libya: UN Alarmed at Reports of Violence Against Sub-Saharan Migrants". UN News (via Spero News). 8 March 2011. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
- Zucchino, David (24 March 2011). "Libyan Rebels Appear To Take Leaf from Moammar Kadafi's Playbook". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 11 August 2011. Unknown parameter
|date 24 March=ignored (help)
- Staff (4 April 2011). "Chad Says Citizens Abused in Rebel-Held Libya". Reuters. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
- Quist-Arcton, Ofeibea (25 February 2011). "In Libya, African Migrants Say They Face Hostility". NPR. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
- BBC Radio 4, "Today" programme, 18 April 2011; about 7.53 a.m. BST. Available on BBC iPlayer for UK listeners at http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b010dhcm/Today_18_04_2011/