Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Nato accused of war crimes in Libya

New report criticises Western forces for bombing civilian targets in Sirte during conflict

January 18, 2012

An independent report published by Middle Eastern human rights groups says there is evidence that war crimes and human rights violations were committed by all the participants – Nato, rebel forces and those loyal to Colonel Gaddafi – in last year's Libyan uprising.

The report, published today by the Arab Organisation for Human Rights together and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights with the International Legal Assistance Consortium, follows extensive fact-finding work carried out by law and war crimes experts. While the document stresses that findings are not conclusive, it adds weight to growing concerns about violations committed by all sides in the conflict.

After interviews with eye-witnesses and victims of attacks, and after visiting areas targeted by Nato, the Independent Civil Society Mission to Libya report highlights the issue of Nato classifying some civilian sites as military targets during its operations.

Nato was authorised by the UN Security Council to protect civilians in Libya from attacks by the Gaddafi regime during the uprising of last year, but drew criticism for what many described as going further than the terms of the mandate.

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