Speculations regarding the exact circumstances of Gaddafi’s death and the details of the last period are rife. In addition to the various scenarios of his death, we (the Libyans) are facing what appear to be difficult questions regarding the ‘human rights’ of the tyrant. This is ‘a point of law’ versus a nation waking up from 42 years of complete agony and continuous terror and treatment by the very same dead man.
It is difficult for non-Libyans to understand how it really feels now, or how it felt during the 42 years of Gadaffi’s reign. Yes, there is a point of law and legal versus illegal treatment of captured enemies and we all respect this and it is an internationally agreed set of rules we must all observe. We also understand that there are a lot of people (academics) and international organisations whose job it is to raise questions when situations like this arise.
However, it must also be emphasised that the human factor is such a powerful element in difficult moments such as those when Gadaffi was captured by the revolutionaries (I hate the term ‘rebels’) who suffered for 8 very long months and lost mates during the last months in a war that was completely unnecessary and was violently and bloodily started and sustained by Gadaffi and his sons, to basically show the world they can beat the hell out of the Libyans and destroy their cities, simply because they can. It was a war of punishment by this family, who were hoping that their allies outside Libya would somehow bring them victory over the (in Gadaffi’s words) ‘rats’.
It is conceivable that Gadaffi was shot by some individuals or agencies who did not want him to live, to spill the hot beans. But we must also accept that revolutionaries on edge in extremely difficult circumstances with Gadaffi’s aides still in the area, threatening to kill them at any moment, took it upon themselves to finish this agony on behalf of the nation.
It is perhaps an appropriate time to refer to one of the most painful experiences of the Libyan nation where several individuals in Benghazi were hung publicly and left hanging for a long time for everybody to see, in the 1970s. In fact some of Gadaffi’s strongest supporters where swinging from the bodies to show their full enjoyment of the scene (I will spare you the rest of the gruesome details). Imagine the scene, where dead people are suspended from the hanging posts, displayed in town for all to see. Is that scene less offensive than Gadaffi’s corpse with gun shot wounds? This is just one of the thousands of crimes Gadaffi is guilty of from the past 42 years. The Abu Salim prison massacre in Tripoli in 1996, in which 1200+ people were murdered and dumped in secret mass graves, is another example of his heinous crimes. I will not mention how they may have been killed, probably some buried alive. So how can it possibly be expected of the Libyan people to remember the details of the human rights during the moments of Gadaffi’s capture, with such memories like this of his reign?
There have been many folks (mainly non-Libyans who have never set foot on Libyan soil) who are asking for a human rights investigation into the killing of Gadaffi. All I can say is where have you all been when all these atrocities in Libya were being committed by Gadaffi and his sons? I don’t remember the world taking any notice whatsoever of his crimes (the list of his crimes are endless) or asking for human rights investigations into these crimes. Even when the revolution started on 17th of February this year, in which 50 thousand Libyan men have lost their lives to date, the world remained mainly cold and silent, and did not bother to question Gadaffi’s methods toward his own people. His crimes go beyond breaking human rights laws and NOBODY outside of Libya bothered to ask and address these questions.
We are recovering from a complete nightmare and ask the rest of the world to take a moment and think before waving the banners of human rights from the luxury of not having to experience or live through these awful times.
Views expressed in articles are the author’s and do not represent Comment Middle East
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