By Jack Phillips
August 28, 2011

Mass graves containing dozens of suspected rebel bodies was recently discovered, with evidence that forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi killed them, said Human Rights Watch.

Some of the bodies were dumped in the Tripoli neighborhood of Gargur sometime around August 21, said the rights group, who published its findings on Sunday in a report. A witness who survived the mass killing said that Libyan government forces shot prisoners at a building belonging to the Internal Security Service.

The mass grave in Gargur is the latest discovered in recent days that Gadhafi forces are also suspected to be responsible for, the rights group said. On Friday, 18 bodies were discovered near the Internal Security building in a dry riverbed. Some of those killed may have been doctors and nurses, and had their hands tied behind their backs.

Another two bodies were found in the Internal Security building on August 26.

Another 29 bodies were found in a medical clinic outside of Gadhafi’s compound, Bab al-Aziziya. Some appeared to have been executed while they were lying in hospital beds.

“Torture was rife in Gadhafi’s prisons but to execute detainees days before they would have been freed is a sickening low in the government’s behavior,” stated Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch.

Whitson said there is strong evidence suggesting “Gadhafi government forces went on a spate of arbitrary killing as Tripoli was falling.”

Osama Hadi Mansur Al-Swayi, one of the survivors of the massacre at the Internal Security building, said that as the rebels came into Tripoli on Aug. 19, the prisoners started celebrating.

“We were so happy, and we knew we would be released soon,” he recounted. But that joy soon turned to terror. Snipers that were upstairs came down and started shooting. Al-Swayi along with other prisoners were told to lie on the ground. Then he heard one of the guards loyal to Gadhafi give the order to “just finish them off.”

“In one instant, they finished off all the people with me,” he said.

Another witness, Juma’ Al-Murayd, told Human Rights Watch that on August 23 he had seen Gadhafi’s men beat up then kill three civilians at a checkpoint near his home. “One of them was just driving his car, unarmed,” the witness said.

“These incidents, which may represent only a fraction of the total, raise grave questions about the conduct of Gadhafi forces in the past few days, and whether it was systematic or planned,” said Whitson.

“If these incidents are proven to be extra judicial killings they are serious war crimes and those responsible should be brought to justice,” he added.

Source: The Epoch Times.