Mounting Evidence of Rebel Atrocities in Libya
Video clips depict summary executions, lynching of an alleged mercenary and a beheading. Black African prisoners are singled out for abuse.
April 20, 2011 - 11:30 am
As in other clips, a black prisoner is singled out for particular abuse. Barking out accusations, the interrogator hovers over him with what appears to be a sort of machete in his hand. In a later shot, what appears to be the same group of men is seen lying on the ground in pools of blood. Their eyes have been bound and they appear to have been shot in the back of the head. Persons walking among the corpses can be heard shouting “Allahu Akbar!” The footage was shown on a broadcast on Al-Libya television. But the “raw footage” and other apparently related footage is also available on YouTube. The actual shooting of the prisoners is not shown. (See clip #3 here or here.)
In a fourth clip, men can be seen holding up what appears to be charred human remains to the cheers of an assembled crowd. As in the beheading video, numerous members of the crowd can be seen filming the proceedings on digital cameras and cell phones. One of the “presenters” waves the red, black, and green flag of the Libyan rebellion. So too does a member of the crowd. A second group, again waving the flag of the rebellion, can later be seen parading around what appears to be the same remains on a rooftop. A smaller clump of carbonized matter receives particular attention from the revelers. According to one posting on YouTube, the object in question is the victim’s heart. (See clip #4 here.)
A fifth clip shows two black African prisoners who have been tightly bound from head to foot. Online postings suggest that they were captured by rebels in Misrata: a western Libyan city that was conquered by the rebels near the outset of the rebellion and that is presently the scene of heavy fighting. One of the men appears to be badly wounded; the other whimpers as he attempts in vain to wriggle free from his bindings. (See clip #5 here or here.)
Several other clips, which are available on YouTube, show the corpses of black Africans being publicly displayed and kicked and otherwise abused by “protestors.”
At first glance, it might seem odd that the rebels would document their own atrocities. But given all the indications that the eastern Libyan heartland of the rebellion is a bastion of jihadist militancy, it is in fact not so odd. It is standard jihadist procedure to film beheadings and other sorts of atrocities committed against captured enemy soldiers and hostages.