Report accuses both sides in Libya of war crimes

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Report accuses both sides in Libya of war crimes

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Both sides in the Libya conflict have committed war crimes and must be held to account according to a report by Amnesty International.

It details pro-Gaddafi attacks on civilians using tanks, rockets and artillery and details numerous summary executions.

But forces of the new administration are accused too.

Claudio Cordone from the human rights group said: “I think that it is important, despite all the great challenges that they have, that they prioritise the situation in the detention centres, because every day people are being brought in there, beaten, it also happened in our presence, and people are at risk of abuse. There is no judicial process and it is important that there is a central authority that takes care of all the detention centres.”

The report said anti-Gaddafi forces were guilty of abductions and the killing of Gaddafi loyalists, although it said the abuses were on a smaller scale than those of their opponents.

It said both sides must be judged by the same standards.

But the interim justice minister Mohammed Al-Alagi responded to the criticism by saying “I think there are no war crimes. They are not the military, they are only ordinary people. (There) might (have been) some mistakes, but we can’t classify them as war crimes at all.”

The 112-page report was compiled between the outbreak of the uprising in February and July, before the fall of Tripoli to anti-government forces.

The National Transitional Council has been struggling to impose its authority on the country since then. Amnesty said Libya must introduce new human rights laws once the fighting is over.