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NTC vows to probe rights abuses, control arms

By Asmaa Elourfi in Benghazi and Essam Mohammed in Tripoli for Magharebia – 26/10/11

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Libya may be liberated now but the war-ravaged country still has a long way to go to build a stable state. The main tasks now are to prevent human rights abuses and control the spread of Libyan weapons.

Interim Oil and Finance Minister Ali Tarhouni on Monday (October 24th) admitted that there had been some "violations" against captives and detainees. He stressed that the National Transitional Council (NTC) condemned rights abuses.

The NTC Executive Board "confirms its determination to boost the judicial bodies in the country to ensure that detainees receive humane treatment, and also to ensure that defendants in war crimes and crimes against humanity, as well as defendants in criminal cases, receive fair trials as per international and human rights laws", he said.

"We co-ordinated with the high security committee not to detain or arrest anyone without an order from the attorney general," Tarhouni added.

The NTC is willing to "co-operate with the United Nations and specialised international organisations, including the International Committee of the Red Cross, whenever appropriate, to allow them to check the conditions of prisons and detention centres", the oil official added. He also vowed that the interim council would make "these centres fully compliant with international standards".

On the question of Moamer Kadhafi's death, Tarhouni said that the NTC Executive Board "did not want to put an end to that tyrant's life before bringing him to trial and making him answer questions that have always haunted Libyans".

"We wanted him to answer certain questions, such as: why did he expel the best people in Libya around the world? Why did he kill them in cold blood without trial? What is his justification for the Lockerbie plane crime and the French UTI plane, as well as the Libyan Airways plane and the killing of all passengers on board?" Tarhouni said.

The circulation of weapons is another major point of concern. Though some rebel fighters have started laying down arms and returning to their past jobs, the NTC demanded that all revolutionaries hand in their arms. Random firing in the air has stopped, but the presence of large quantities weapons is still clearly visible.

"We will be able to fully control the sources of fire using different methods, such as the collection of weapons and ammunitions through tribes, sheikhs and dignitaries," said Brigadier General Mohamed Hadia, director of weapons department in the Libyan army. He added that financial compensation would be offered to those who handed in weapons and strict measures applied to violators.

All heavy weapons need to be seized, argued Tripoli resident Salem Saad. "This is a terrifying thing that threatens peace and security, and can create armed militias in which members are loyal only to these groups," he added.

Rebel fighters will need psychological help to return to normal life, said journalist Majida Bin Ismail. Sheikhs and Friday preachers need to join efforts to assist the former fighters, she added.

"We will also need to organise seminars and use the media to raise awareness among those revolutionaries about the need to turn in their weapons, especially as we’ve heard that some revolutionary factions have already started hand in their weapons," Bin Ismail said.

"The mission has been accomplished, but we will keep some items of weaponry to run security patrols in our neighbourhood until the police return to their jobs, and then we will hand in weapons in full," vowed Abdul Basit Dribka, a revolutionary fighter from al-Dhahra neighbourhood in Tripoli.

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  1. Anonymous thumb

    Anonymous 2011-11-6

    To Salem- The fight of the Libyan people for their independence, their freedom and their dignity is just beginning. The Libyans are determined. No one will dominate them. They will fight and they will win.


  2. Anonymous thumb

    Yusaf 2011-10-30

    We have had our fair share of traitors down the centuries in Ireland, those who collaborated openly and covertly with the English, but the ignorance of the political facts (from NGOs to NTC Natoists) and the inhumanity that we have witnessed in this lopsided civil war, which has torn people apart and decimated a beautiful country, is of tragic proportions.


  3. Anonymous thumb

    سالم 2011-10-29

    Kadhafi died like a man and lived like a man. He didn’t run away as did his predecessors. Courage for men and death to rats who brought NATO which killed our sons in Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan and today it has widowed our free women in Libya and orphaned our sons in Libya? May God rest your soul Kadhafi. You’re a true and real man. Death to traitors! Is this democracy you are seeking? No and a thousand no? The occupier will remain over your heads and you will say if only the rule of Kadhafi will come back even for a quarter of an hour. Why this disgrace? Why humiliation? One who is in Britain sleeps, eats and drinks while he controls you while you are killing each other. Then he comes to rule you. Shame on you, o great Arab people! We are an Arab Muslim Umma. We don’t want humiliation. Had we held on tightly to the words of God and Sunna of his prophet, we would never have been humiliated. But we have sold, you have sold the country.


  4. Anonymous thumb

    الوادي 2011-10-28

    There is live ammunition including bullets 23 and 14.5 taken by children to schools. Therefore, institutions and government departments play an important role in controlling arms in addition to what is said above, encourage collecting arms by all ways, offering reward for anyone who brings or reports about arms. However, they should take into consideration that some cities still need protection from the lackeys of the tyrant especially Misrata as many enemies prey on it particularly people of the south of Misrata (previously known as Taourgha). God grants success!


  5. Anonymous thumb

    saif 2011-10-27

    The Algerians are all against what you have subjected Muammar Kadhafi, and, more importantly, his son Motassem. You have no mercy


  6. Anonymous thumb

    aboulahcène 2011-10-26

    You might as well make Al Capone the Minister of Justice!


  7. Anonymous thumb

    liby 2011-10-26

    Given NATO’s commitment in this war being led against Libya and given that the NTC is a stakeholder in this war, only an independent international commission would be capable of leading an investigation into the multiple human rights violations, for which there is evidence. But, the crude manipulation and disinformation that have marked this human tragedy leave no illusions about the odds of the few commissions, which will inevitably be manipulated by those who directed this bloody war, being neutral. In sum, no truth will come from this side. The opinions are formatted on this subject. The truth will come from elsewhere.