(15) 25% of Libyans have college degrees; literacy under Gaddafi rose from 25% to 83%
(16) his monumental Great Man-Made River (GMMR) project
It made the desert bloom. It provided free water. Gaddafi called it the 8th wonder of the world. He did so for good reason.
It developed an ocean-sized aquifer beneath Libyan sands. It was a decades-long work in progress.
In 2011, NATO bombed connecting pipelines and infrastructure. Depleted uranium weapons were used. Doing so irradiated clean, fresh water.
Free supplies no longer exist. Western profiteers intend exploiting them for bottom line priorities.
Predatory capitalism works this way. Ordinary people are exploited for profit. They lose out entirely. Libyans can explain best.
Dystopian harshness replaced North Africa’s most developed country.Doing so added another crime of war, against humanity and genocide to America’s rap sheet.
Obama bears full responsibility. He thrives on war. He wages one after another. He’s got more targets in mind. Libyans won’t ever forgive him.
They’ve got good reason not to. Things won’t ever be the same. Perhaps future generations will regain what they lost. Green resistance hopes one day to restore it.
Violent dystopian dysfunction reflects today’s Libya. Militia gangs control local areas. The entire populated north is a battleground.
Central governance is more illusion than reality. Near-term prospects are grim. A new UN report explains more. It’s titled “Torture and Deaths in Detention in Libya.”
It explains what Western media ignore. It’s ongoing, widespread and horrific.
International law prohibits torture and other forms of abuse at all times, under all circumstances, with no allowed exceptions.
It’s official US and Israeli policy. In Libya, it’s out-of control. In April 2013, Libya’s pseudo-government passed legislation criminalizing torture, forced disappearances and discrimination.
In September, another law requires all conflict-related detainees released or referred to the public prosecutor within 90 days.
It doesn’t matter. Torture and other forms of abuse persist. It’s commonplace to extract confessions. Detainees are denied access to counsel. Family member rarely get to see them.
An estimated 8,000 are affected. They’re brutalized lawlessly. It happens largely out of sight and mind.
In September 2011, Security Council Resolution 2009 established UNSMIL (UN Support Mission in Libya). On March 14, 2013, SC Resolution 2095 extended its mandate another 12 months.
From late 2011 to more recently, it reported 27 torture related deaths. True numbers are likely higher. Other deaths weren’t investigated.
Detention centers nominally are under government control. Local militia gangs effectively run them. They do whatever they want.They’re waging war on suspected Gaddafi loyalists.
UNSMIL’s more involved in militarized occupation than peacekeeping. It’s more part of the problem and related ones than the solution.
It’s true wherever Blue Helmets show up.****(they bring trouble with them)They’re supposed to restore order, enforce peace, maintain security, and help transition to stable normality.
They’re imperial enforcers. They fuel conflict. They commit serious human rights abuses.They’re involved in sex trafficking and other crimes. They’re complicit in what they’re mandated to prevent.
In its World Report 2012: Libya, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said:
Post-Gaddafi prison conditions are “sub-standard, with overcrowding, inadequate food and water, and consistent reports about abuse, including beatings (and) use of electric shock.”
Investigator Sidney Kwiram said HRW documented “ongoing torture” used “to force confessions or for punishment.”
HRW omitted saying most detainees are alleged Gaddafi loyalists.
An Amnesty International (AI) report headlined “Libya: Deaths of detainees amid widespread torture,”saying:
Libyan detainees were tortured and abused. Some died. Victims were pro-Gaddafi loyalists. AI met detainees “in and around Tripoli, Misrata and Gheryan.”
Torture marks were visible.They included “open wounds on the head, limbs, back and other parts of the body.”
They’re inflicted “by officially recognized military and security entities, as well as a multitude of armed militias operating outside any legal framework.”
AI called it “horrifying to find that there has been no progress to stop the use of torture.”
“We are not aware of any proper investigations into (these cases), and neither the survivors or relatives of those who have died in detention have had any recourse to justice or redress for what they have suffered.”
“While many detainees have described their experiences of torture to us, some have proved too scared to speak – fearing harsher torture” by doing so. Instead, they just showed their wounds.
They came from being “suspended in contorted positions, beaten for hours with whips, cables, plastic hoses, metal chains and bars and wooden sticks, and given electric shocks with live wires and Taser-like electro-shock weapons.”
Injuries AI saw confirmed detainee testimonies. So did medical reports. Victims had no legal representation. They confessed to stop pain.
One detainee told AI:
“This morning they took me for interrogation upstairs. Five men in plain clothes took turns beating and whipping me.”
“They suspended me from the top of the door by my wrists for about an hour and kept beating me. They also kicked me.”
Another said he was beaten on wounds sustained weeks earlier, adding:
“Yesterday they beat me with electric cables while my hands were cuffed behind my back and my feet were bound together.”
“They threatened to send me back to the militia (that) captured me, who would kill me.”
Others died from torture-inflicted injuries. Deep bruises and open wounds confirmed it. It’s unclear how many were affected. Perhaps dozens or more died this way.
Little is done to stop it. Dysfunctional conditions exist. Dismissiveness lets innocent thousands suffer in harsh confinement.
Doing so reflects reality in today’s Libya. Heart of darkness lawless viciousness describes things. Pseudo-government does little to change them. Nor does UNSMIL. Rule of law in Libya doesn’t exist.
An estimated 37 detention facilities operate nationwide. With few exceptions, militia gangs control them. They do whatever they want.
They do it without oversight. They get away with torture, other forms of abuse and murder.
Victims are abducted from homes, workplaces, on streets, and at checkpoints. Doing so is arbitrary. It’s lawless.Due process, judicial fairness and proper redress don’t exist.
Ali Mas’ud death reflected others. A preliminary forensic report said “death (was) caused by a cerebral bleeding and cardiac arrest.”
“The corpse had several traumatic bruises. The death was caused by beatings and torture.”
Abdelhakim Belaid al-Tajuri died on route to hospitalization. Forensic analysis said he “died as a result of widespread injuries to his body and bleeding inside the head cavity.”
His face was badly swollen. Injuries were clearly visible. His hands and feet showed evidence of torture.
Gaddafi era 1991 Law No. 20 on the Promotion of Freedoms stated:
“No one can be deprived of his freedom, searched or questioned unless he has been charged with committing an act that is punishable by law,pursuant to an order issued by a competent court, and in accordance with the conditions and time limits specified by law.”
Article 30 of Gaddafi’s Code of Criminal Procedure required security officers to have an official competent authority-issued warrant authorizing arrest and detention.
Article 31 afforded detainees the right to challenge why they were held.
Article 106 mandated the right of counsel during criminal interrogations.
Article 321 authorized providing legal representation if defendants had none.
Article 26 limited referring suspects for General Prosecution to 48 hours. For crimes against the state, it was seven days.
Article 435 mandated 10 years imprisonment for “any public official who order(ed) the torture of or tortures an accused.”
Articles 379 – 381 ordered up to one year in prison for “causing harm to another person leading to a sickness.”
Two years were mandated if it was life-threatening or caused paralysis for less than 40 days.
Five years were ordered in case of incurable illness, loss of body part or functioning organ, or other disability.
That was then. This is now. Anarchic viciousness replaced Gaddafi era law and order.
As signatory to the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), Libya is obligated to prevent these type abuses. So is UNSMIL as an occupying authority.
ICCPR’s Article 7 enshrines the right to life, stating:
“Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life.”
Article 7 states:
“No person shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
Article 10 states:
“All persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person.”
Other fundamental international laws have similar provisions. Under Gaddafi, Libya, as signatory, agreed to enforce them.
Little or nothing is done today. Innocent victims suffer horrifically. Torture and other forms of abuse persist. Law and order are figures of speech.
Obama bears full responsibility. He transformed sovereignLibya into dystopian hell.Out-of-control horrific conditions reflect today’s reality.
Green resistance struggles for freedom. It remains a distant dream.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Muammar Qaddafi’s hometown band of loyalists flaunt his favourite colour
AS THE government struggles to assert its authority over a plethora of ethnic, tribal and party militias, some of them Islamist, others secular, a growing number of Libyans may be starting to regret the revolution. Rigorous opinion polls are few and patchy, but the best clue to people’s allegiances may be the colour of shopkeepers’ doors and windows. In Libyan markets during Muammar Qaddafi’s era they all had to be painted green in honour of the Green Book, a personal rendition of wisdom that the colonel hoped would achieve the stature of Chairman Mao’s red one.
Some shopkeepers, parading their loyalty to the new order, have painted their shutters the tricolour of Libya’s new flag. Others, hedging their bets, have gone for a non-committal pale blue. But two years after Qaddafi’s fall many shopkeepers have stubbornly stuck to the old colour, despite the best efforts of the thawwar, or revolutionary vigilantes, who cruise around the gold market in Tripoli, the capital, telling backsliders: “Change your colour.” A supporter of the new regime has scrawled rude graffiti over a pair of shutters that has stayed green: “Libya’s Free, Qaddafi has gone.”
Nowhere is Green more dominant than in Sirte, a small town on the Mediterranean coast where the colonel was born and, in October 2011, killed. Under him its 100,000 townsfolk had it good. The main conduit of the Great Man-Made River runs from the Sahara desert to the shore near Sirte, turning the town’s caked earth into market gardens. Qaddafi converted its municipal buildings into Libya’s administrative capital, complete with north Africa’s largest conference hall, where he played host to the leaders of his would-be United States of Africa.
Nervous of openly confessing their nostalgia, Sirte’s people practice their cult in code. Some dress in Green, or less ostentatiously sport a Green cigarette-lighter or key-ring. In some homes the colonel’s portrait still adorns the sitting-room wall.Others keep albums of the dictator’s weirdest costumes on their mobile phones. In Qasr Abu Hadi, a hamlet on the outskirts of Sirte where the colonel claimed to have been born in a goat-hair tent, a few villagers have not cut their hair since his death and wander through the town dazed, like hermits. “Qaddafi is written on our hearts,” says a student in a burger bar. “In Green.”
A young Libyan woman is reported to have stabbed her brother to death in Tripoli in a row over politics.
Although the police will neither confirm nor deny the story, it is said that yesterday at around 11pm, a fight occurred involving the two at their home off Shara Omar Mukhtar.
The 25-year old sister, who had been at the former Girls’ Military Academy at Suq Al-Thalat, is reported to be a Qaddafi supporter.Her brother, in his 30s, supported the revolution. Neither have been named as yet.
A neighbour told the Libya Herald that their mother was unable to intervene between her daughter and son, who is said to have badly beaten his sister. He then left the house and returned an hour later and, as he sat down to eat, his angry sister stabbed him in the back with a knife. When asked why, she is said by the neighbour to have replied proudly that such a person whose hands “carried out dirty work deserved such a fate”.
The two are said not to have got on for some time and had been in a number of fights before. It is claimed the brother used to constantly order his sister around, demanding she serve him without hesitation, and calling her an enemy of Libya, adding that she and her like had contributed to the present chaos in the country.