Monday, March 19, 2012

Amnesty: NATO failed to investigate civilian victims of intervention in Libya

 The remains of the Gafez family home in Majer. (photo Amnesty)

Amnesty International says that NATO has so far failed to investigate the killing of scores of civilians in Libya in air strikes carried out by its forces. Amnesty released a paper on Monday, one year after the first sorties took place,  Libya: The forgotten victims of NATO Strikes. The organization has documented 55 cases of named civilians, including 16 children and 14 women, killed in air strikes in Tripoli, Zlitan, Majer, Sirte and Brega.
Many of the deaths occurred as a result of airstrikes on private homes where Amnesty International and others have found no evidence to indicate that the homes had been used for military purposes at the time they were attacked.
In the evening of 8 August 2011 two houses belonging to the Gafez and al-Ja’arud families were struck in Majer, west of Misrata. According to members of the family who survived the attack, 34 civilians, including eight children and eight women, were killed and several were injured in three separate strikes. The family said they had not been aware of the presence of any persons or of any activities near their homes which could explain the attacks.
Amnesty says that  NATO must ensure that prompt, independent, impartial and thorough investigations are conducted into any allegations of serious violations of international law by participants in Operation Unified Protector and that the findings be publicly disclosed.

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